Cold, precise professional killer Jef Costello (Delon) lives by his version of the code of the Japanese samurai. Hired to kill a nightclub owner, he establishes an alibi with the help of his lover Jane (Nathalie Delon, Alain's then-wife) and, unexpectedly, by Valerie (Rosier), the club's black piano-player. Jef finds Valerie's aid suspicious and begins to dig deeper, finding himself betrayed by his employers, and the subject of a police chase throughout Paris. The icy Delon was perfect for the anti-hero role and Melville's stylized filming heightens the tension and inevitable tragedy. A film much-admired, and copied, by contemporary filmmakers. French with subtitles.