A real winner of a film if you like stories that focus almost exclusively on the criminals. But the insights about human nature and the human condition come through nonetheless.
There's now a widescreen version, whereas years ago the dvd was full screen.
The cast is impressive, every last one of them; but I have to say that Dalio in a rather brief part is amazing in the way he projects his character as a shifty fence. Louis Calhern had it down pat too in Asphalt Jungle.
Lino Ventura, wife and 2 young boys, tired of hiding out in Italy and seeing the cops closing in, does a daylight robbery for cash on the streets of Milan, and flees with his partner, Stan Krol. Plenty of action and location work start this with a bang. Ventura connects with family as part of the getaway, but tragedy ensues when their boat lands in France. Ventura finds himself hiding in Nice with the two boys until his former pals in Paris can transport him via ambulance as a cover, because of roadblocks and the manhunt. The difficulties of his friends helping him are fully explored. Ventura's character is not really sympathetic, but his desperate situation and his being a father soften it.
Jose Giovanni has a way with this kind of story. He wrote the novel, worked on the adaptation and contributed dialog.