Hector Valentin (Bourvil) returns to France from Canada when he inherits a small sawmill. He has difficulties restarting the run-down operation which has inefficient workers and is hampered by the dirty tactics of its bigger, wealthier neighbor. Laurent (Lino Ventura) is an ex-con who is seeking revenge on the man who ratted him out, and is himself finishing got out of prison. He talks Hector into participating in a work program for paroled felons, and arranges for his target to be in the group of convicts sent to work at the sawmill. He hopes that the facility’s isolation will provide him with an opportunity for murder. However the man’s parole is delayed and he doesn’t show up with the rest of the workers. Will Laurent’s target be coming? You have just to watch the movie. Lino Ventura, as usual, a very forceful personality, and Bourvil, for once, is not in a comic capacity, two people from worlds apart and yet they come to form this unexpected and unlikely friendship because ultimately, they are the Good Guys in a world full with “model citizens” performing dirty tricks. The film is dynamic, it leaves you breathless. The sawmill seen on the screen was rebuilt on the site of Cellet after its owner – just like Bourvil in the story – set fire to it, then burnt down again for the final scenes.


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