Truffaut's meditation on the American gangster film is, like a lot of French homages to the American gangster film, an unfortunately poor imitation. This tepid story has a mild-mannered pianist suddenly drawn into a world of crime by his ne'er-do-well brother. Of course our pianist has a past of his own, plus there's a hot hooker to contend with. The story is random and a little babbling, not really imbued with and interesting insight into gangsters -- American or otherwise. It's morose and deptressing, as any good New Wave film usually is, but if there's a point -- or even any real emotion in this -- it is lost on me. Stick with Truffaut's better films.