Paris, 1943. Martin (Bourvil), a slow-witted spiv, persuades a stranger, Grandgil (Gabin), to help him shift four suitcases of pork from butcher to buyer during the blackout. As they dodge patrols, hungry dogs and air raids, Grandgil proves resourceful but explosively and abusively unpredictable. He turns out to be a celebrated painter out slumming, scolding the less fortunate from a position of absolute security - demonstrated when the pair are arrested by the Germans, Grandgil to be fawned on, Martin to be deposited with the rest of the hostages. A post-war postscript shows Grandgil striding along a station platform while Martin, now a porter and still lugging suitcases, trails unrecognised behind him. This sardonic anecdote (a novel by Marcel Aymé) is characteristic of its director, both in its sour disposition and its storytelling gusto.