Mado (1976) - full transcript

Middle-aged businessman, Simon Léotard finds his future in jeopardy when his partner Julien commits suicide after having accumulated a mass of debts. Simon's unscrupulous business rival Lépidon offers to save him from bankruptcy by buying his company, at a discount rate. Reluctant to fall into Lépidon's trap, Simon decides to resolve the crisis himself. A prostitute, Mado, provides him with the solution to his problems...

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And with others, is it the same?
For whom?

- For you.
- For me?

How do you think it is?

That's what I asked.
When you're paying, you never know.

That's right.
To find out, you ought to try my job.

- That could be hard.
- Well, you never tried.

What? Get laid for money? No.

Poor guy.
That's life, when you're rich.

Yes, the solitude of the rich man.

- Look at that.
- At what? - The countryside.

Better here.
No need to go from factory to factory,



just to lose one job
after the other. Like you just did.

You may think
it's dumb, but it's true.

What's true?
That work on the land is more pleasant.

- You're spinning yarn.
- No.

You can live on the land.
Won't make you rich.

But you can live off it.

That's not spinning yarn.
I've thought about it.

Land is cheap.
There are plenty of abandoned farms.

You get 'm going and there you are.
Hard work but you're free.

Can be hard but you're independent.

There are Pierre and Alex.

Hi.

- Are you travelling through?
- This time we're here to stay.

5 months without a job is enough.



- I thought you were in Nantes.
- Just arrived. - I'm glad.

- We were just talking about you.
- Speaking of the devil...

William!
- Pierre. Glad to see you. Alex! Have a drink.

I'll come over when I have time.
Those are the people I told you about.

- They're out of a job.
- It's hard but gotta keep hoping.

- And your brother?
- He's in Briasson.

- Does he like it?
- Yes.

- And Made?
- We“, so so.

She's only working half-time,
since they reduced working hours.

Just like happened to Catherine.

- How many clients do you have?
- Do you want a share?

Ten?

Eight? Seven? Less?

- That few?
- Does it disappoint you?

- You could earn more.
- Sure, but it's enough for me.

Don't you want to own
nice things? An apartment, a car?

- Clothes, jewels, furs, travel?
- No.

- You don't want anything?
- No.

I'm perfectly happy,
I don't need anything for myself.

But I know
what I'd do with a lot of money.

The people I like
don't have it. I could help them.

But they
wouldn't like it, neither would I.

Yes? No, he's not here.

I don't know.
But I can take a message. Yes.

Hold on... What's that?

Bordeaux from your friend Chamberlé.
Over here!

- How many hearts do I have?
- Four.

- Why drop the King of diamonds?
- I need to drop diamonds and spades.

You should've kept the ace.

- That was a mistake.
- That was worth more than the knave.

That gives the same result.

Hello? Julien!
Hold on, I'll look if he's here.

- Simon! Julien for you.
- I'm coming.

- Do you have a corkscrew?
- Yes.

Careful, slowly.

- Hello, Julien. Yes.
- Slowly. Don't startle it.

About the overdraw. Anton told me.

That was predictable. Please.

We knew that, didn't we?

Yes... Yes.

Why?

If you bring Lépidon
in the company, I'm out.

No, it's about principle.
The game should be played correctly.

I'll tell the union..
I think they already guessed.

Right! Where are you? For how long?

I'll call you soon. See you.

- Simon, do you know what that is?
- No. - Chateau Margeaux '47.

A gift from my friend Chamberlé.

He asked
my help for a mistress in Paris,

who needed a telephone
connection. I helped him out.

I invited chairman Bajart
of the Radical party for diner.

Soon she was connected.
Chamberlé isn't ungrateful.

These 12 bottles prove it.

Careful Maxim, give me, you'd ruin it

Maurice, get the glasses, please.

Julien...
how long since you last saw him?

2 or 3 months, I don't know. Is he OK?

- I don't think so.
- Is he ill? - No.

Is there a bookkeeper among your jobless friends?
- Perhaps.

I have work for him. Come with me.

Can I introduce you to my father?
OK.

My children!

It's fundamentally much too
precious to drink in crisis times.

- There she is!
- Papa.

- My cousin Maxim. Maurice.
- Hi.

I knew until now only the name Mado.

Since quite a while I hear
the sound of this voice in our house.

I tried to imagine what you look like.

And now I see
that image in front of me.

Much better
than I could have drawn it.

- So?
- It's good.

- Very very good.
- There you have the difference.

Simon says 'very very good', to
please me. And Mado says 'it's good'.

That's quite adequate.

I call a taxi, they took my license yesterday.
- From you?

Yes, for 3 months.

Will I see you the day after tomorrow?
I can't. Well OK.

I'll call you.
- Bye. - See you.

No, I'm not aware of that.

About how much?

When was it issued? Yesterday?

On whose name? Yes.

Sourjétam? I don't get that either.

He didn't protest yet.

Tell me, is it the first time
that we get a draft from them?

I'm just as surprised as you.

Yes, thank you. I'll call you later.

Mrs Larverne,
get me Jovall on the line. Excuse me.

I have finished the questionnaire.
Yes.

You're out of a job for 5 months?

Yes. - You worked for Stamica in Nantes.
A German firm.

- What do they do?
- Importing machine parts.

Did you stay there long?
3 years.

- Did you quit?
- No, they laid off 30%.

Why you?
- I was on the workers' council and was on top of the list.

I'm in construction. Mado probably told you.
- Yes.

The firms belong to me or I'm
shareholder. The job starts right away.

My accountant needs an operation.

Hold on please. Mr Jovall on line 2.

Hello?
That's not Jovall, it's my father!

- He took over.
- Always have to be alert here!

- I am on line 2!
- Come on, I'm on line 1.

Watch the buttons! - I wanted to call Maurice.
- I need to be in charge!

- No need to get worked up.
- Jovall on line 1.

Hello Jovall, the Bank called me.

There's a draft
of over a million on Julien's account.

The company's account is empty.

Sourjétam, do you know him?

Try to reach
your lawyer, before he protests.

Right. Call me back.

Get me Julien too.

- I have a problem.
- So I heard.

- Can you start right away? - Yes.
- Mr Julien isn't in.

Call him at the office.
Architect's office? Mr Antoine, please.

You'll get the same salary. Can you drive?
Yes.

Antoine, where is Julien?
What do you mean, nowhere?

Not at home? Shit!
About the Sourjétam draft!

Exactly.
Right, I come over. You come with me.

Simon, the diner with Jaspeau
is because of Felix's painting.

Yes, so?
I'm the host. I am his father.

- Let's go.
- OK.

Since when do you know Mado?
6, 7 years.

Since she came to France.

The firm
that it's about, are you the owner?

I'm just shareholder.
It belongs to a friend.

He has the authority and disappeared 2 days ago.
- With the money?

No,
with a fat draft on an empty account.

That's a problem.

The enterprise is attractive.

A garden town,
planned by an architect full of ideas.

- About time.
- Panic's starting here.

They're all there,
but no trace of Julien.

They call him all the time, but nothing.
Come on.

- What kind of firm is Sourjétam?
- They rent out building equipment.

But in this project
we don't work with Sourjétam.

He's in the know, and you aren't?

- And you?
- I'm not informed about everything.

- I do Julien's personal accounts.
- It's about the company's accounts.

Isn't there anything to go on?
Receipts, registers and such?

Look in his desk.
Come on, it's important!

There's a draft waiting to be cashed.

How do we pay the bills,
when the account has no balance?

Running costs
are covered by the bank loan.

When does the next payment come in?
Friday.

So no problems. Work can continue.

It's horrible, my God!

Call the police right away.

- When did it happen?
- Last night, I guess.

Not a thing we can do about it.

- Nobody went in his office yet?
- Nobody except him went in his office.

- And the cleaning ladies?
- They work in the evening.

- Atty. Java” is on the line.
- I talk to him. There?

Jovall?

Yes.

Something real bad happened.

Julien... took his life last night.

In his office. Shot in the head.

Yes, I know.

No, tell me. I'm listening.

Yes.

Sure, sure, go on.

And the others? The same amount?

Right, thank you.

The owner of the
Sourjétam equipment rental is Lépidon.

Lépidon and Simoneau.

It's in fact a loan shark
outfit for all kinds of loans.

This month there are 4 other
drafts due, for the same amount.

This month?
That makes for a hole of... 6 million.

That's unbelievable.

How is this possible?

- Who is this Lépidon?
- A crook, with patrons in politics,

who has civil servants
and delegates depending on him.

A specialist in buying
bankrupt companies.

How could that happen to Julien?
And without a word to us.

The causes are in his
private life. That's a vast terrain.

- I suspected for quite some time.
- Me too, but it came so fast.

- We have to inform his wife.
- I thought he was divorced.

They live apart. Because of her family.

Lépidon.

Condolences.

I'm really sorry.
I couldn't foresee this.

But I couldn't act otherwise.
I'm in a difficult situation.

A delegate walked out
and my finances are in a bad state.

I had warned
our friend, but he was deaf.

Not meant as an allusion...
wish I had only guessed.

You always think too much of people's
character. So, see you soon.

Lépidon's strategy was simple.

He waited with the drafts
until he had Julien ready.

As long as Julien could pay, he waited.

That earned him interest too.

When Julien's money was gone,
he presented them all at once.

It's simple: Julien can't pay,
Lépidon applies for bankruptcy.

As the main creditor
he can take over the shop cheaply.

- Am I wrong, Jovall?
- No, it's like that.

- Without mentioning the kickbacks.
- Here are the bills from Sourjétam.

April 7 and June 20. Checks
were written for more than 150,000.

Rent for 3 cranes and 2 cement mixers.

Never saw them.
Checks for forged bills.

You'll find more.
That's 750,000 he has pocketed already.

At our expense,
and that of the clients.

We can report him to the police.

If you do that, you report
your fraudulent accounts too.

You can't get him.

- What can we do?
- Nothing.

There's one thing we can do.

- What? - Pay for the drafts.
- With what? - With your money and mine.

It's cheaper to stay out.

- That'd be money down the drain.
- I won't leave the shop to Lépidon.

Lépidon and Simoneau
are rats. I'll skin them alive.

They will pay.
But first the draft is due.

I've prepared it all with Jovall.

It's up to you
if you're with me or not.

Right.
I think we've discussed it all.

Yes. Good evening.

This draft is
just for starters! Still 4 to go.

- Julien!
- I've told you.

It's been 2 years
he didn't have a relationship.

I found another one.

Simon, do you
really know what you're getting into?

- Very well!
- And if they others get scared?

How do you want to raise that amount?

I'll sell shares.
Estorancie and then Ciepac.

- Grenoble too?
- If necessary, yes.

In the end it was
my fault. I should have been careful.

Julien was always
happy, dynamic, full of wit.

Always full of inspiration and plans.

Bubbling over with life,
takes a pistol and it's over.

- Are you making coffee, William?
- Sure. - Coffee, good idea.

- How is Simon?
- OK so far.

His companion died
and he has to fill a 6 Million hole.

If he pulls it off,
he'll be broke. Otherwise he's fine.

The barometer says nice weather.

- Did you go to the job agency?
- Yes.

- Do they have something for you?
- Do you have a job?

- What kind?
- Car washer.

- Probationary of course.
- But it's not bad!

It'll work out.

- What else is up? - Nothing.
- That's not much.

Come on, we'll manage.

Why are you silent? Don't you want to talk with me?
- Sure.

- I mean, no.
- What's with you then?

- You'll laugh, I'm shy.
- But why?

- I find is so stupid. - What?
- What you're doing.

Sleeping with men for money.

I think it's bad. Simply not good.

Not good...

It's not my business,
but that's how I feel.

Not good...

When is something good for you
and when is it not anymore?

It's not
too good either when you feel bad.

When Catherine and I were dirt poor,

then I felt bad.
Right now I feel good.

I feel real good.

- I don't believe you.
- You're wrong.

Do you feel OK when you're
washing other people's cars?

Though you're capable of more?

And Somme?

Does she feel good, toiling 8 hours?

In the middle of
those shoes, dust, shit, idiots?

- You're confusing some things.
- No.

Each sells
himself in his own way, that's all.

Where is it? Upstairs?

Yes.

Bye.

Damn, that did it.

- I was being stupid, right?
- Forget it.

Mado?

Yes.

There was a call for you, Simon.
Right.

2 times.

- Are you OK?
- Yes.

Hot!

How can you take it?

I hope you don't mind, to play driver.
Not at all.

What do you think of the situation?

Do you mean the state
of the world, or yours in particular?

- Mine.
- It's interesting.

Interesting!
- It's interesting how you go about such an amount of money.

I'm not really
concerned, but I find it interesting.

Interesting when you win, not when you lose.
- I wouldn't say that.

On this scale both are interesting.

There they are.

See you.

Make place.

- Léotard, hi. How are you?
- Thanks. - Hello, Bresson.

Good news. I have a buyer for
the shares who'll pay all in one go.

Champagne? Excuse me.

- Hi.
- Hi.

Lépidon, Léotard just arrived.

A crab sandwich, please!
Léotard. Glad to see you.

- I was wondering if you'd come.
- Well, I'm here. - That's good.

I wanted to call you, but it's hard
to understand each other on the phone.

- Thanks.
- You paid my draft.

- It was due.
- Sure, sure. But the others!

- Are you aware of the scale of this?
- About the drafts and other things.

- Other things?
- The checks and forged bills.

That's just
chicken-feed. Neighbourly help.

I'll pay the other drafts too.

I'm glad. You keep
agreements you didn't make at all.

Very honourable. Don't see that often.

Between us, nothing forces me
to present them all in one go.

I can do it, or wait.
Julien was Julien. You are you.

Indeed, nothing forces you.

You said
you were in a difficult situation.

- Yesterday. But the wind has turned.
- This morning? So suddenly?

Suddenly. Do you
really want to keep the business?

It looks like it.

- But that's crazy.
- That's my business.

- It's up to you.
- Hello.

- Chairman, do you know Léotard?
- Hello.

- Hi there Léotard!
- Glad to see you.

One moment. I'll see you soon, Mr. chairman?
- Of course.

Do you want to risk everything for that business?
- Thanks.

I know
it's your business, but it's not wise.

I know what you think
about me. That doesn't bother me.

I thought you were a realist.

But is it realistic
to put 10 Million in this business?

So what do you propose?

I buy the bankrupt firm
and I'll cut you in on it.

I'll arrange
to have the building permit changed.

The building will be 5 stories higher.
Technically that's no problem.

Next to it
there will be an office building.

Very luxurious. That's my proposal.
Will be profitable for you.

For each of us.
- Mr. Lépidon, we're starting. - I'll be there.

Think about it. It's worthwhile.

Dear friends, ladies, gentlemen...

Simon?

- Yes?
- What are you doing?

Making coffee. At least I try.

Damn!

Put lid on the pot till it snaps.

Push the pot in the
upper part under the hot water outlet.

- When you need him, he's not here.
- Who? - My father.

Such a modern appliance
and nobody knows how it works.

Give me.

Here!
- I admit, very easy! Now we need coffee and water.

- Coffee.
- Thank you.

- Why aren't you married?
- But I was.

- I tried it, even 2 times.
- 2 times? - That's right.

- And?
- Failed.

- Failed, in what way?
- We worked on each other's nerves.

And Hélène?
- Hélène? What do you mean, do you know her?

I saw her once at Lucienne's.
She had breakfast with Julien.

That's a pretty lady.

I'm sure
you wouldn't get bored with her.

Perhaps.
Even though, I didn't take the risk.

- You're enough to yourself?
- That's right.

- So are you broke now?
- Almost.

But no need yet
to apply at the employment agency.

It will still be enough for you.

- What you're going to do?
- I have to pay, so I'll pay!

Is that all?
Can't you think of another defense?

I wouldn't know how.

- There should be ways.
- Which? - What do I know?

Will you just accept
that this pig swindled you?

Surely there are people
know something about your Lépidon.

Go and find them.

I know someone
who they destroyed more completely.

Simply visit him.

Lépidon has ruined many, but no one
has been able to act against him.

That person got 5 years for it.

- Manama?
- Yes.

Manecca is a con himself.

Do you know who he is?
He was condemned for cheating.

- I cheat nobody!
- That's not my problem.

Did you sleep with Manecca too?

How many clients
do you have in the building business?

You're repeating yourself.

I have to go.

- It can't go on like this.
- What?

What can't go on?

This situation.

You going to others, it makes me sick.

- I feel good though.
- But I don't.

If I gave you as much as you need, would you...
- What?

Stop sleeping with others?

Not even those whom I like?

I mean those, who pay you for it.

You know Simon, those who pay me...
Are like me!

You don't need a lot of money,
so you can fix the number.

That's your luxury.

We shouldn't see each other anymore.
As you like.

To sell now means you lose.
Except for the pharmacy business.

All the rest goes below fair value.
The market is bad right now.

If only we weren't forced to sell!

Lépidon spreads the news
that you're forced to sell.

Imagine
the reaction of possible buyers.

- They'll wait.
- We have to show that we have time.

- Let's try to get a bank loan.
- And the collateral?

My apartment. Dad may not
like it, but it's the fastest way.

I'm not talking about hectares,
agriculture, chicken of pig breeding.

There's plenty of that.
My idea is to start greenhouses.

On compost anything grows,
no matter what soil beneath.

- Greenhouses are expensive though...
- What would you grow in them?

- Plants. Trees.
- A tree nursery?

Yes. But trees
are only interesting after 3 years.

Until then plants will do it.
Garden centers buy wholesale.

They know what consumers want.

You need to know what's selling best.
But you can learn that.

The only sensible idea there is
the compost. Anything grows on that.

I know a guy
who grows tomatoes on a rock.

Is Hélène here? I'm Simon.
Come in.

- Thank you.
- Yes, she's here.

I'll tell her.

- She's sleeping.
- Let her. Tell her I was here.

You shouldn't go, sir.

If you go without seeing her...
I'll wake her up.

Yesterday she went to sleep too late.

It was more like this morning.

Hélène? It's Simon.

Hélène?

Hélène? Simon arrived.

Hélène! Simon is here.

- Simon?
- Yes. Simon.

Simon!

- He's here?
- Yes.

What time is it?
- 3:30.

She woke up.

I'll leave you alone, I have to go.

I was here,
because she drank last night.

A bit too much.
My name is Andre, pleased to meet you.

She talks about you often. See you.

Simon, come in.

- Funny that you came.
- I don't think it's funny.

- So what is it?
- A spontaneous decision.

It's so long ago.

A year at least.

Almost.

I'm not in a great state.

If you'd called, I'd have made up.
You're beautiful.

You were always good at lying.
Not always.

- You're losing your hair.
- Yes.

But you haven't changed.

Do you have a lot of worries?

Yes, but I didn't come
to talk about that.

- You came to see Hélène.
- Yes.

And... like always.

You have nothing to tell me?

It's so bad Simon,
I have to stop. I really have to stop.

- You need withdrawal treatment.
- I want to.

But that with Julien...
somehow I lost courage.

Simon?

What drove you away from me?

Was it fear? Are you afraid of me?

I guess it is.

I'm a coward.

Fear...

- You coward. Go on, laugh.
- Should I laugh louder?

- Can I make a phone call?
- Sure, it's in the next room.

I'd like to talk to
Mr. Jovall. Léotard.

Jovall? Do you have
an appointment with Vaudable?

Good. We'll meet in front of
his house. In 45 minutes? OK.

Can you wait for me?
I have an appointment too.

I only need 5 minutes. Will you drive me there?
- Sure.

- And your job, is it going well?
- Sure, no problem.

- It's just me.
- You're not going well!

Number 55, please.

Thank you.

Simon, would you visit me in the hospital?
Of course.

Very rare, your spontaneous feelings.

See you.

Are you trying to play Don Quichotte?

I don't want to discourage you, but
you won't win by attacking directly.

It often seems to me
as if the law is there,

just to serve Lépidon and his peers.

I know Lépidon since many years.

When I was in the administration,
everybody know about his swindling.

But nobody could act against him.

Charges were withdrawn,
or files disappeared.

- But there are files?
- Yes, but they won't prove anything.

All that compromises him will be gone.

I have a list
of companies that belong to Lépidon,

- at which his name never appears.
- What kind of companies?

Mostly real estate firms,

which only buy and sell land.

Two-way inflation pushes prices up.

Of course all profit
lands in Lépidon's pocket.

- Who are the title holders?
- Stooges. - You're right: Stooges.

- Could one get at one of them?
- Of course there are.

You're right. If you're out to
get him, that's the right direction.

Wait... I remember one of his people.

A former secretary to the Mayor,
later with the building authority.

What was the name
of that guy? Damn my memory.

Chadé, Varé? I got it: Barachet!
Emile Barachet, that's his name.

You can't put your finger on it but
when a guy from the building authority

gets into a real estate firm with
Lépidon's blessing, it smells fishy.

But what,
nobody knows. Nothing can be proven.

There's somebody
who could tell you about Barachet.

A former partner
of Lépidon: Reynald Manecca.

But you can't get at him.
He was convicted in absentia.

To find him... well.

- I have to see Manecca.
- I think he's a prick.

Listen... - Good evening, Pierre. Sorry we're late.
- OK, bye.

I really
have to see Manecca. It's important.

- For who? - For me. For both of us.
- So where should I dig him up?

You make it look easy.
I don't know where he is.

Shit.

- Hallo?
- Mado here.

- Yes?
- Can I see you?

- Sure.
- I'll be right there.

Yes.

Reynald Manecca.

Come in.

Thank you.

- You wanted to see me?
- Yes.

I need information that can be
used against your ex-partner Lépidon.

- What kind of information?
- Any. - In what direction?

About a servant of the building
authority, whom you knew well.

- Barachet?
- Yes.

I've learned about shady business
of Barachet. You know about it.

That's right.

So, what can you tell me
about it that's interesting?

Everything I can say
about Barachet is interesting.

But your word is not enough.
I need concrete evidence.

I have what you need.

Photocopies of signature
forgery on 2 building permits.

I have the originals too.

Barachet forged the
Mayor's signature on the documents.

- What do you want for that?
- Money! A lot, that's worth a lot!

Do you know
what that means for Barachet?

Forgery of a deed by a
civil servant. That's a life sentence.

- How much do you want?
- A million and a half.

- That's a lot.
- I don't think so.

You think it's expensive, because
you don't know Barachet's situation.

Barachet is more than a stooge.

Thanks to Lépidon
he's manager of a real estate firm.

He owns 35 hectares
which Lépidon bought 5 years ago,

for the agricultural price
of 1 old Franc per square meter.

Now the area is declared residential.
Do you know how much it worth?

20 times as much.
Calculate! That's 7 millions.

Relative to your gain,
I don't think I'm expensive.

I'd like to leave this country
and need money to start again.

Do you accept or not?

One thing I don't like about it.
What?

You live in hiding
for months, without income.

Why didn't you press
Barachet directly with that proof?

Barachet has no money, just the land.

My hands are tied,
they're looking for me.

But with my proof
you can chase him of the land.

You and me. We can help each other.

Before the breakup
me and Lépidon did great things.

We made the money
of small savers work for us.

With compound
interest. Illegally of course.

Until it bounced. Of course.

And the police
grabbed me, as the manager.

Lépidon didn't help me out.
Although he could have. But nothing.

You're an art lover.
Look at that beauty.

Sturdy and beautiful.

She can't mean the same thing
to you, but since I know her...

- Empty? I get a new one.
- Yes.

- You wouldn't have any Champagne?
- If you like.

I'll open a bottle.

Agreed? Half for the deeds,
the other half when Barachet gives in.

Lépidon! Don't trust him.

I'm a crook, but he's a pig.

A dangerous person,
capable of anything.

So be careful. To our good luck.

And to your principles!
You're a man of principles.

- So, happy? - Happy?
- With your business. - A yes. Well.

So you still see
Manecca often and in secret.

- But he doesn't pay you?
- No.

- What does he have that others don't?
- I don't know, Simon.

- He gave me a watch.
- I can do that, if you want.

But that's not the same.

The first time
he was just a client. Like you.

I didn't feel like it that day.
I was sad, I don't know why.

He understood right away.
He was... - delicate?

Yes! He tried to cheer me up.

But I just couldn't.

I made up a story about
debts I had to pay right away.

Then he...
- gave you the watch.

Yes.
A jeweler told me it's worth 10,000.

I wanted to give it back
and say that it was all a lie.

He just laughed,
but didn't want the watch back.

Two weeks later he was convicted.

Show me.

He's a good person.

- And those are rare.
- Rare. Good and delicate.

A guy who left wife and kids,
and earned his money by screwing people.

People like you and your friends.
A good person! So much bullshit.

- Hi, Mado.
- Hi.

You talk like an angry, old man,

who doesn't know
about people. But you know.

They just leave you cold.

Perhaps I'm a stupid.
But you're the other type.

You're bedazzling in bed, fight about
everything, and you're always right.

You care about your looks.
You want to be admired by everybody.

Poor, rich, young and old.

You like to win at all tables.

But one thing you can't:
Love another human being.

You love yourself too much.
Mado, are you coming? Yes, right away.

Bye.

Alright.
The terrain is divided in 4 lots.

2 big ones,
1 of which borders on the river.

29 hectares.
Farther out than both small ones.

On one there's
an abandoned farm. Ideal for Alex.

A good location close to the freeway.

A factory will be built here.
IBM will settle next to the bridge.

The 4 parts are each divided in lots.

Here, here and here. 210 lots.
The area's called Valle de Montré.

We were at the vice-mayor's.
He can't stand Barachet.

He knows all about it.
About Lépidon and the bribes.

He couldn't be stopped.
The wine did help.

I duly poured.

- Getting hot.
- He's being taken in.

- It looks good.
- The lots are at the freeway.

- About 100 m. From it.
- How far to Paris? - About 250 km.

A small repair
at the foot. Nothing important.

You have nice furniture, Sir.

- So how do you like it?
- Very good, right?

- A bit of onion soup?
- Goes with it.

- What's the matter, dad?
- It's not the food. I don't know.

Don't worry. Trust Simon.

- Give him a Cognac. - No, thanks.
- You'll be better after it.

Here, that's it.

- I didn't forget anything.
- That's too much. - No.

- Talk it over again with Manecca?
- That won't change anything.

All this, for what? Was it necessary?

There!

OK?

Hi. Are you ready? Are you going?
Yes.

Can you take the pictures here? I'm not alone.
- Yes.

- Yes, can do.
- I'll be right back.

I get the passport
from that guy. He takes the pictures.

- Very nice.
- OK, you go there.

- When will it be ready?
- Come over tomorrow.

- Here.
- Here it is.

- What kind of person?
- No idea. Never saw him.

OK, let's go.

Come in, sir.
Excuse me. Take a seat, please.

So you're interested
in lots in Valle de Montré.

- Yes, that's right.
- Good.

We have lots in several sizes.

We have some of 600 square m.,
others 1000, also 2000.

Prices are graded
from 20,000 till 80,000 Francs.

Connections to the street
and utilities are included.

On the river bank the price is higher.

You'll understand
when you see the area.

It depends on what you want to spend.

- You want to buy, right?
- Yes. We want the whole area.

What? All lots together?

The whole Valle de Montré, the 35 ha.

I have to admit

that I didn't expect
a deal of this size.

Do you recognize these documents, Mr. Barachet?
- Excuse me.

Copies of expired building permits.
I don't understand...

Sure they are expired,
but the signatures are forged.

That still means something.

What are you at? Those are worthless.

Worthless? When the originals
get to the state attorney,

would you still act like
an arrogant corrupt civil servant?

Every graphologist will tell
that the signatures are fake.

And you know it.

You know the law, Mr. Barachet.

Forging of deeds
by an active civil servant.

Do you know the penalty?

- That's blackmail.
- Yes.

- How much?
- I already told you: The land!

The whole area
for 1 Franc per square meter.

Totally impossible.

- I'm not the real owner.
- But you're the one in charge.

And authorized to sell the land.

We're not interested in anything else.

That will take time.

- We have to draft an agreement.
- Already prepared.

All you have to do is sign.

Either sign, or go to jail.

- I have a wife and kids.
- We're not here for family matters.

Don't make a drama. You have to sign!

Tell me,
where did you get the documents?

That's not relevant. Sign!

I'll write a check.

Be glad you get it.

Read, agreed, date, signature.

- That went fast.
- Yes, he had no choice.

Please inform my father,
while I'm at Manecca's.

Tell Alex too.
Will we see the land today?

- Good day.
- Hi Pierre.

- Everything went OK?
- Yes.

- So you're happy?
- Well, you too. - Yes.

- I told you we could help each other.
- Sir? - Coffee?

Yes. - Two. And call a taxi please.
Right away.

- Did you mention my name?
- No.

Barachet
will suspect who's behind it.

And Lépidon hears it from him.

That's why
I have to disappear as fast as I can.

When are you off?
Tomorrow. This evening I get the papers.

I already have the tickets.

Thanks.

- Will you travel alone?
- Yes, alone.

- Does Mado know?
- I didn't tell her.

She... Careful, steady.

- But you will ask her?
- No.

Why not?

It will not do me good
to be rejected by Mado.

I rather not know for sure.

I go and try to start a new life.

I might even marry again.
Preferably a woman with money.

And else I'm better off alone,
without company. Do you understand?

- Are you serious?
- No.

But does that matter? She expects
that I'll ask her to come with me.

She expects it, but she won't come.

- Are you sure?
- Yes.

Could you...
- I told your father we'll come and get him.

Alex and the others'll come too.
Everybody, even Lucienne.

Until the freeway.
400 m. To the left, 500 to the right.

Behind the woods
will be the chemical plant.

We don't have anything behind the freeway?
We do, 4 ha.

The village is cute. Is that Montré?

Great piece of land.
I hope you won't build crappy homes here.

Could you start already?
- No, access roads will be made in 3 months.

- And Alex's farm?
- Much farther, after the slope.

Look at it.

Smells great!

Makes you crave. Where are the nice
farmers' daughters? Fantastic.

- Really nice, right?
- Very nice.

- Humid though.
- Been empty long time.

Nice building.
- Solid and big. What room is that? - The kitchen.

Big. Is there electricity here?

- To be connected.
- There are 3 more rooms.

I love it. I'll spend my old age here.

- How do you like the farm?
- Great.

The greenhouse thing
would be problematic.

Greenhouses come in different widths.

You put them next to each other
and you decide the length.

- Looks like Alex knows the trade.
- Sure.

He finally learned it.

I'm not only sorry because of
the paintings. I'll go further.

I wonder if I lived my life the wrong way.
Of course not, dad!

But yes, Lucienne... Look! A hare!

What a life here, outside.
I have to cite old Virgil:

Happy the one,
who knows the God of the meadows.

There's no rest, when the fruits
mature exuberantly to harvest.

The harvest lies heavy
on the field, as if in a granary.

Winter comes. The fruit
harvested, the olive pressed...

What does Virgil say about hail,
foreign competition and the law of markets?

Your pessimism
gets on my nerves. For once he...

Don't I have reason for pessimism?
Come on!

Simon, we'll eat
something on the road. I'm starving.

Everybody's hungry.
We'll look for something.

That one looks like it's open.

Antoine, come here.

Look. Isn't that
our friend, the vice mayor?

I'm going crazy. Yes.

Loiselle, hey!

My friends. Come in.

Come in, come in!

A few less or more doesn't matter.

- Mr Loiselle, it's a pleasure.
- The family of the bridegroom.

Hi.
- Mr Jovall. - Hello Sir.

- And who are you?
- Maxim.

You don't get it. I'm not talking
about Alex, neither about Simon.

Alex will be just fine.

Problem is,
there are people with power,

and us. We have to organize ourselves.

You can't compare Lépidon to Simon.

No, but Simon has to use
the same means as Lépidon.

Malicious tricks.
It's the only thing possible.

- He has no choice.
- No, but for you it's perfectly normal.

But we can't stay in this mess!

There's a side road. Let's take it.

- Which way?
- To the right.

- There's a sign: Pany.
- Pany? So to the left.

- Where are we now?
- Wait.

There! To the left!

We have to keep going to the left.

Are you sure we're
going right? Nothing to see here.

It's correct. That slurry
comes from the building site.

- Look at that. - Very muddy.
- Shouldn't we go back? - Yes.

- If I stop, we'll get stuck.
- We need to find a better place.

- We won't get out of here.
- So what should I do?

You're slipping. Let it be!

Alex is stuck.

- What to do?
- No questions.

Stop, we're going down the slope.

Please!

Come on!

So that you won't get stuck too. Push!

Come on, on solid ground. Right.

- So much for the shortcut.
- How could I know?

"Java" is also stuck. Damn mess.

I'm not stuck,
it just makes no sense to drive on.

O my children, what an adventure...

- How far to the next backwater?
- No idea.

Who got the crazy idea
to take this route?

- This rain drives you crazy.
- I can't believe it.

- Nice place here.
- Why did we leave the freeway?

Stop arguing now!

Let's push!
- Everybody out, we try to pull it out of the mud.

What shall I do?

Get out of the rain.
Over there there's a cabin.

Beastly weather.

Stop, stop!

- You look shitty.
- We have to do something.

- Couldn't we use bricks?
- Let's find them on a building site.

Let's start with Alex's car.
You're right.

We can use all of them.

Here, take this.

- Real tight under the wheel.
- You think I'm stupid?

- Give way to papa.
- Put it here.

- This one too?
- Yes.

- No, too dirty.
- Start.

- Car is stuck.
- Right.

- Perhaps tow it out.
- Let's try.

Well, let's not give up hope.

- Careful! Take my coat.
- No thanks, I'm OK.

I think we are saved!

- What can we do?
- Nothing. Get help.

- Walking?
- Yes.

I got it, I'm on my way.

Well Roger? Are you coming?

Come on, Roger.

Hey,
we could use a bottle for the road!

- In my trunk.
- With a drink we're OK.

- Great idea.
- Was my idea.

You're making an old man happy.

- A drum. - Let's start a fire.
- Our provisions, Roger.

A flashlight.

Good trip!

- Keep distance.
- Throw it in.

My dears,
this time it's a Trojan feast.

- Come on, give!
- Can't you make a decision?

- That's how to do it.
- Rubbish, let him play.

- My turn. - I'll start.
- The game goes on.

Yesterday there was
a mass collision on the freeway.

- Are you OK?
- Yes.

A camper hit a truck,

whose trailer
got on the opposite lane.

38 cars ran into the accident.

One car caught fire.
The accident caused big delays.

The road was
unblocked only after 4 hours.

In Paris the body
of a man was discovered today.

Run over by a truck.
Police says it was Reynald Manecca.

Manecca
was involved in a building scandal.

He'd have been
condemned to 5 years prison.

He was the victim
of a hit and run driver.

The weather report...

- There they are at last.
- Now we'll get home.

Manecca is dead. It was on the radio.

An accident.

Do you have chains with you?

- Come closer.
- Stop!