The main drawback to this well-wrought tale of a man on the run is the weight it places on dialogue and concepts over actions and feelings. Otherwise, the fast-paced, sad story moves along unremittingly after Mario (Raf Vallone) has an unexpected encounter with a friend he has not seen for many, many years. Mario had been living with his mistress Germain (Emmanuelle Riva) under an assumed name -- he deserted from the army fifteen years ago and hid his identity for obvious reasons. But now that his old friend has come back into the picture and effectively spilled the beans, Mario runs away from his home and his life because he cannot face Germain with the truth. She refuses to see him when she does find out and that only sends him running faster from pillar to post, seeking asylum from the police who are now on his trail.
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