Victor Vauthier is released from prison after serving three months for fraud. He immediately returns to his life of crime, renting out his former lover’s flat for the fourteenth time, and then selling an unseaworthy boat to a dupe whose wife he also seduces, before returning to his (so-called) uncle Camille’s home, a caravan parked on a vacant lot in the Paris suburbs.
Soon after, he receives a visit from Marie-Charlotte Pontalec, a parole officer. He whisks her off for lunch in a grand restaurant. Here, he is so busy maintaining a series of different personas for his schemes that Marie-Charlotte gives up all hope of being able to interview him, and asks him to come to her office the next day.
Once their meeting is over, Victor takes Marie-Charlotte into his little world: a circus where he is a charming, smooth operator, before joining a gypsy party in an abandoned church. Charmed and enthralled by her new friends, Marie-Charlotte takes them to Senlis museum, where her father is curator, to show them a wonderful triptych of the Passion by El Greco.
Camille can’t resist the temptation, and decides to steal the triptych. The Pontalec parents are tricked into leaving by a fake invitation from the Culture Minister, while Victor plans to take Marie-Charlotte to the opera. Meanwhile, Camille and his friend Raoul will take the triptych. However, the young woman decides to dine at home with the crook, still creating his diversion, who doesn’t manage to seduce her.
The theft is successful despite this, and the artwork is then sold back to the government for a huge ransom, which Marie-Charlotte cunningly gets a piece of by making a deal with the trio: share the loot with me or don’t get any loot at all.
And this is how Victor, Raoul, and Camille come to be under the palms with the Pontalecs. Appalled that ‘his’ money has disappeared and his dreams of saving the Mont-Saint-Michel from silting up have been dashed, Camille comes out of his gilded cage…
By the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, where Camille has set up his caravan, he is soon joined by Victor, who informs him that he has just sold his favorite spot to a guy who was passing…
Production : Les Films Ariane –Mondex Film – Cerito Film- Simar
Producteurs : Alexandre Mnouchkine, Georges Dancigers
Producteur associé : Alexandre Mnouchkine
Scénario : Michel Audiard and Philippe de Broca based on the novel « Ah mon Pote » by Alex Varoux.
Script: Michel Audiard.
Director of photography: Jean Penzer.
Cameraman: Jean-Paul Schwartz assisted by François Lartigue and Michel Coteret.
Editing: Françoise Javet assisted by Michel Catonné.
Music: Georges Delerue.
Lyrics : Herminie.
Sound technician: Daniel Brisseau assisted by Gérard de Lagarde.
Sets: François de Lamothe.
Décorateur : Éric Moulard assisted by Jacques Bufnoir.
Set decorator: Robert Christidès.
Props: Raymond Le Moigne.
Costumes : Paulette Breil, Francesco Smalto forJean-Paul Belmondo, JH Farel for Geneviève Bujold.
Make-up: Charly Koubesserian.
Hairdresser: Marc Blanchard.
Production manager: Raymond Leplont.
Stage manager: Nicole Carmet.
Assistant directors: Jean-Claude Ventura, Patricia Eberhard.
Script : Élisabeth Rappeneau.
Photographer: Vincent Rossell.
Press agent: René Château.
Jean-Paul Belmondo : Victor Vauthier.
Geneviève Bujold : Marie-Charlotte Pontalec.
Julien Guiomar : Camille.
Charles Gérard : Raoul.
Daniel Ceccaldi : le préfet de police.
Capucine : Hélène.
Andrea Ferréol : Tatiana Negulesco.
Michel Beaune : le ministre des Affaires culturelles.
Alberto Simono : Monsieur Pontalec
Pascale Roberts : Adrienne.
Maria Meriko : Madame Florinda.
Dora Doll: la caissière du bar des artistes.
Marc Dudicourt : le gardien du ministère.
Roger Riffard : le deuxième chauffeur de taxi.
Maurice Travail : le fonctionnaire des finances.
Catherine Alric : Catherine.
Maurice Auzel : Paulo.
Madeleine Barbulée : la dame pipi.
Philippe Brizard : l’expert en tableaux.
Véronique Dancier: l’hôtesse du Plazza.
Robert Dalban : Freddy.
Gérard Dournel : le premier chauffeur de taxi.
Anna Gaylor : Madame Pontalec.
Catherine Lachens : fille au bureau des éducateurs.
Laure Moutoussamy : la deuxième prostituée.
Jean-Pierre Rambal : Lucien le domestique d’Hélène.
Bernadette Robert : Lucette.
Élisabeth Teissier : Sybille l’épouse de Robert.
And, uncredited: Maurice Nasil, Michel Francini, Claude Brulé, Paulette Brulé, Pascal Rivault, Sébastien Floche, Bernard Musson, Pierre Moncorbier, François Viaur, Georges Dupuis, Ibrahim Seck, Lucien Wouassi, Guy-Pierre Mineur, Pierre Laronze, Danny Bernard, Gérard Malabat, Louisette Rousseau, Anémone, Michel Charrel, Hervé Joly, Roger Muni, Sylvain Salnave, Georges Yacoubian, Hélène Cinque, Dominique Magloire, Julie Mate, Laetitia Alphand.
Running time: 95 minutes.
Filmed: 21 April – 20 June 1975.
Location: Paris and its suburbs.
Distribution : G.E.F. – C.C.F.C.
Release in Paris: 15 October 1975.
Box- office : 767 478 tickets sold in 17 weeks in 14 Paris cinemas.