This unflinching film by legendary director Louis Malle was one of the first of its time to openly discuss the troublesome issue of French collaboration with the Nazis during World War II. It follows an innocent young man (the very talented Pierre Blaise, who was killed in a car accident a year after the movie was made), who's looking for adventure and a sense of self-worth as he thinks about joining the French Resistance--but ends up as a member of the Gestapo instead. Quite controversial on its original release in 1974, the film uses its main character's journey as a prism for examining the moral ambiguity and guilt of France's war years.
"[With] great performances, and includes some of the most vividly sketched screen characters of the 1970s." - 05/01/2006 Sight and Sound, p.87
"Louis Malle's most powerful movie tackles discomforting French history with dead-on objectivity, which only intensifies its punch..." - 03/31/2006 USA Today, p.3E