When this movie first came out in the 70s, I went to see it repeatedly. Then, when the VHS version came out, I was able to watch it every Christmas. It's the quintessential French existential movie; Ventura's character, Simon, says it all when he asserts to Francoise as she visits him in jail, "But I am a nice guy!" . (In French, "un type bien" means more than "a nice guy", but that'll do). What is perceived as criminal behavior (breaking into a jewelry store) is not a matter of "crime" so much as what a person chooses to do. He might as well have been an ice cream vendor. What counts is a man's honor and integrity. Again, Simon says it all: "There are only two types of people in my world: those that I like, and those that I don't." Legality and morality are not at stake here, but a man's honesty with himself. Again, Simon says it all: "A woman is a man who cries a little; a man is someone who goes all the way." What defines a man is his character.