Staging a prison break before the credits even start, Gustave (Lino Ventura, the epitome of glacier cool), constantly referred to as Gu, quickly finds his way to a Paris safe house as he begins to plan a way to get to Marseilles with his girlfriend Manouche (Christine Fabréga) and enough dough to retire from the underworld. It's not long before he's giving up his desire to kill local hood Jo Ricci (expert sniveler Marcel Bozzuffi) instead planning to rob a police transport with Ricci's brother Paul (Raymond Pellegrin). The take is nearly a billion dollars worth of platinum bars, though it will mean working with hot-tempered upstart Antoine Ripa (Denis Manuel).
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Ernest Tidyman's story follows the adventures of two New York narcotics cops, "Popeye" Doyle (Hackman), and his partner, Russo (Roy Scheider). They track a lead about a large drug delivery that develops into a plan that could entirely destroy the marijuana trade between Paris and New York.
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