May 19, 1980 12:00 PM

Nobody can play an amoral, unscrupulous but lovable rogue like Jean-Paul Belmondo. Nobody can look quite as sweet, innocent or disillusioned as Genevieve Bujold. Yet both are strained to the breaking point in this French film, and they crack a little from time to time. Belmondo is cast as a con man who has just been released from prison and into the care of probation officer Bujold. He bounds from scam to scam and bed to bed, all the while falling into her uncalculating clutches. The plot is frenzied, not to say breathless, and J-P, now 47, was a little old for this sort of thing even back in 1975 when the movie was shot. It is being released only now in the U.S., presumably to profit from the growing popularity of its director, Philippe de Broca, who made King of Hearts and Dear Detective. The film does indeed have a certain outré charm, something like those adorable, dotty films saved so often by Cary Grant. (In French with English subtitles) (Not rated)

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