Rohmer's first feature, not so much a moral tale as a cautionary anecdote (loosely modelled on Murnau's The Last Laugh) in which an impoverished American musician living in Paris (Hahn) runs himself into debt on the strength of an inheritance he doesn't inherit. Very much of its nouvelle vague day in its amused anatomy of the Latin Quarter fauna as the hero desperately does the rounds in quest of a loan, having no luck because it is summer and everyone's on holiday, and gradually slipping without realising it into becoming a clochard. But also a precise, poetic documentary on Paris, with the city turning into a stone prison that gradually crushes resistance until the musician suffers total moral and physical disintegration.
Cast and crew
Eric Rohmer, Paul Gégauff
Jess Hahn Van Doude Michèle Girardon Jean Le Poulain Stéphane Audran Franoise Prévost Jean-Luc Godard Macha Méril