When Lise Tanquerelle, a police chief, almost runs over a distracted motorcyclist, she is delighted to discover who he actually is: Antoine Lemercier, an old classmate from high school. She used to have a huge crush on him. Since then, he has become a distinguished Greek scholar.
They quickly realize that they want to see as much of each other as possible. But Lise’s job, which she keeps secret from Antoine, is very demanding and they are constantly interrupted by her pager. Lise is investigating the killing of two politicians in similar circumstances.
Her jumpiness, hasty departures, and frequent distractions bother the quiet professor. He discovers what his lover does for a living when he is arrested following a student protest in which he was not taking part. He’s annoyed, and refuses to let Lise pull strings to get him released. The next day, while on his way to the coastal town of Honfleur to sulk, he also refuses to get off the train, which she has had stopped in order to make up with him.
But after a third politician is murdered, Lise is taken off the case. She joins Antoine in Honfleur, where they spend a few happy, carefree days. Suddenly, Lise has a flash of inspiration, and heads back to Paris with Antoine in tow. She goes to the home of Christine Vallier, a young woman who is ‘kept’ by several politicians, including the three victims. Here, she discovers that the killer is none other than the building’s concierge, who raised Christine while her mother entertained her lovers.
Backed into a corner, the man takes Antoine hostage, and Antoine wastes no time in convincing him to hand himself in. But their vehicle is hit by Lise, who, just like the last time, helps the professor to the nearest chemist.
Production: Les Films Ariane – Mondex Film.
Producers: Georges Dancigers, Alexandre Mnouchkine.
Line producer: Alexandre Mnouchkine.
Screenplay: Michel Audiard and Philippe de Broca based on the novel « le commissaire Tanquerelle et le frelon » by Jean-Paul Rouland and Claude Olivier.
Script: Michel Audiard.
Director of photography: Jean-Paul Schwartz.
Cameraman: Christian Guillouet assisted by François Lauliac.
Editing: Françoise Javet assisted by Isabel Garcia and Martine Charasson.
Music: Georges Delerue.
Sound technician: Bernard Bats assisted by Bernard Rochut.
Sets: François de Lamothe.
Set decorator: Robert Christidès.
Costumes : Catherine Leterrier.
Make-up: Louis Bonnemaison.
Hairdresser: Alice Schwartz.
Production manager: Raymond Leplont.
Assistant directors: Jean-Claude Ventura, Jean-François Villemer, Philippe Cottinet.
Script : Suzanne Durrenberger.
Photographer: Georges Pierre.
Press agent: Victor Kercondcuff.
Annie Girardot : Lise Tanquerelle, commissaire de police.
Philippe Noiret : Antoine Lemercier : professeur de grec.
Catherine Alric : Christine Vallier.
Hubert Deschamps : Monsieur Charmille.
Paulette Dubost : Simone dite Mamie.
Roger Dumas : inspecteur Marcel Guérin.
Raymond Gérome : le directeur de la PJ.
Guy Marchand : le commissaire Beretti.
Simone Renant : Suzanne dite Tantine.
Georges Wilson : Alexandre Mignonac.
Armelle Pourriche : Catherine Tanquerelle.
Henri Czarniak : Cassard inspecteur
Maurice Illouz : Picot, inspecteur.
Michel Norman : Albert, inspecteur.
Georges Riquier : le professeur Pelletier.
Alain David : le doyen Lavergne.
Jean-Pierre Rambal : le serveur du restaurant.
Gabriel Jabbour : le médecin légiste.
Colette Duval : la pharmacienne.
Francis Lemaire : Antonio le coiffeur.
Jacques Frantz : Verdier.
Monique Tarbes : la dame pipi.
Anna Gaylor : la concierge.
Sarah Sterling : la grosse Berthe.
Roger Muni : le tailleur
Michel Audiard : la voix du mainate.
Durée : 105 minutes.
Initial title: Le Frelon, then Le commissaire a de jolies menottes.
Filmed: 13 June – 19 August 1977.
Location: Paris, Honfleur and the Paris suburbs.
Distribution : C. C. F. C. – G. E. F.
Release in Paris: 18 January 1978.
Box office: 565 422 tickets sold in 15 weeks in 27 Paris cinemas.