At the centre of a farcical plot, scripted by Jacques Prévert from a novel by J Storer Clouston and supposedly set in London, is a mild, bumbling botanist (Simon), secretly the author of murder stories and accused of murdering his wife by the Bishop of Beckford (Jouvet), who disappears, reappears in disguise as a detective, and turns a table or two. Meanwhile a real killer goes happily about his business (Barrault, who murders butchers because he loves animals). Carné isn't renowned for his wacky temperament, and he fails to extract all the fun possible from such rich material. But there are plenty of piquant absurdities, from the proliferating milk bottles delivered by Aumont's lovelorn Express Dairy milkman, to the gents in Limehouse robbed of the flowers in their buttonholes (a typical Prévert touch). And Simon is marvellous.
Cast and crew