Out of school into a job, Lucien Lacombe shoots rabbits in his spare time. Then almost imperceptibly a particular historical perspective is slipped in behind him. World War II France is under German occupation, and Lucien finds himself acting out his adolescent emotions, gun in hand, within the eerie schema of Fascism. Malle's film has two strengths: one is Lucien, Malle's answer to the question, who becomes a Fascist? The second is the precision and total lack of histrionics with which the mechanics of compromise are mapped. It has one major weakness; having drawn Lucien from the fringe of the action to the centre of the screen, Malle seems unable to bridge the gap between himself and the character. He attempts to compensate with weighty (and unnecessary) symbolism, and fades out making pretty pictures around his protagonist. Perhaps Malle's seductive style, carried over intact from Dearest Love, cannot go any further.