Paul Poacher and his Blandine wife have only one only idea at the head: to find the means of assassinating the other without risk. Following an emission of radio, Paul decides to go up to Paris to meet a famous lawyer specialized in the payment of the assassins. It makes believe in the lawyer whom it killed his wife. The lawyer questions Paul to reconstitute the circumstances of the drama. Without the knowledge, it explains, well in spite of him, the procedure so that Paul assassinates his wife while being certain to avoid the prison….
In the credits of beginning, Guitry precise with Pauline Carton who the decoration of the prison is exact because it was carried out to start from its memories. The man still did not digest his 60 days imprisonment. Land-mark, it delivers a black, timeless and cold film. Paul Poacher, played superbly by Michel Simon, applies to the letter the principle : to preach the forgery to have truth. There is Chaplin in the scene of the lawsuit (The Dictator and Mr Verdoux). Caustic and cynical, Paul Braconnier is denied while turning over the charges of the president the court, asserting that if it had not killed his wife, it would not be there to hear the reproach of it. His wife had the desire to remove it and, to this end, had put death at the rats in her glass that, by chance for him, it did not drink.
Guitry does not save either the villagers who come in mass to support Braconnier. They all are to thank it there because its crime gave a media cover and consequently opportunity a second economic life to the village which needed some well. They are more hypocritical than interdependent. Moreover, the scenario writer employs a parallel assembly to show the children who parody the adults. Left with the guard of the florist, they make the lawsuit with their manner. And as the truth leaves the mouth the children, they miment the judgment and the execution of Poacher which does not take place because it are discharged.
As always, criticisms were not enthusiastic for film. The majority concentrated on the credits where one sees Guitry speaking in praise of the actors and the actors. In fact, these credits announce the topic of film: the praise. Praise of the lie, praise of the catch of initiative. And when well even there would be misogyny, it is not directed against the women but only against the acariâtre Braconnier wife.
But one should not either neglect the critical aspect of film. Critical economic first of all. The village of Remonville is in economic crisis, the trade do not go very well. Many are those which wish an event which would bring a media cover, and consequently of the visitors who would make turn the trade rather dying man. For that, some will see the priest to suggest to him making believe in a miracle. What this one refuses. Critical social then. The media cover involves an surge of curious wanting to see the house of the crime. The scenario writer scratches at the same time the curious ones, the fanatic tradesmen who planted the knife in a bread, accompanied by a prohibition to touch, and the police officers who did not preserve the weapon of the crime and put the house under seals. Critical sociological also because the lawyer Aubanel, all with the joy of his hundredth payment, devotes himself to an apology for his style and his convictions, supporting sometimes alarming theses on the criminals. Finally, criticize media which, such of the birds of prey, go of news items to news items, all more morbid some than the others. They make with the Aubanel lawyer a publicity which will have for him annoying consequences, and precipitate at the village the known crime once.