A film in three movements. It opens with a perfunctory rendering of a familiar tale, in which jailbird Gino (Delon) tries to go straight despite the blandishments of old cronies with a blueprint for the perfect heist. Overlapping this is the drama of social worker Gabin, more world-weary than ever, and malevolent cop Bouquet contending as to Gino's essential goodness/baseness. The finale, after a Billy Budd-derived catastrophe, comprises a worthy but, in truth, terribly familiar attack on the death penalty. Giovanni, never the most forceful of directors, aims deliberately for the dour and downbeat, and it takes all the star power of the two leads to keep us hooked. Bonuses include Sarde's imposing score and a dynamic turn by the young Depardieu.