Jane, is a bold woman who seems not to be a stranger to sexual pleasures. Jacqueline, on the other hand has a romantic nature. After spending some time with Albert and Marcel in the cabaret, Jacqueline is bored and goes home. Jane, who goes with the men to their apartment, returns home in time to change to go to work. Ginette and Rita are the other friends, and co-workers, in a small appliance store. Louise, the cashier, is more or less in charge of the girls and she identifies herself with Jacqueline, who in spite of having come in late for her first day at the shop, seems to be a kindred soul.
Ginette, who shares a flat with Jane, is a woman living a double life. She works in the shop, but is a singer who works in a theater that has variety acts. She doesn't want to let the other girls know what she does. Rita, the fourth friend, is engaged to a fatuous man who appears to be embarrassed to be introducing her to his parents.
These four women appear to be living boring lives. Their only escape is the night life all around them. Jacqueline, who is approached by a delivery man at the shop for a date, refuses him. At the same time, that night, at a swimming pool she is saved from Marcel and Albert's horseplay with her in the water by the motorcyclist. This meeting leads to an unexpected turn of events for Jacqueline, who doesn't have a clue as to what is going to happen to her. A hint to Jacqueline's fate is comes later in the film, as she asks Louise about a "fetish" she carries with her.
This film was not seen widely in this country after it was released. In fact, it remains an enigma why it was not discovered by film fans, the way it deserved. Claude Chabrol, the director, who also contributed to the screen play, gives the story a great staging. It's one of his works that most closely resembled a product of the New Wave movement as it took the cameras into the streets to show a slice of the lives of these four women that are so closely connected.
There is a lot to admire in the way Mr. Chabrol designed this film. He got great support by the amazing cinematography of Henri Decae, one of the best in the French cinema. Even after more than forty years after this film made its debut, it has much to be admired in what Chabrol was able to accomplish with it. The character studies of these women living ordinary lives reveals the director knew them well.
Clothilde Joano makes an impression as Jacqueline. Bernadette Lafont does wonders with her Jane. Stephane Audran, who went to star in a lot of films of her then husband, is quite effective as Ginette. Lucile Saint-Simon, is Rita, who had a short role. Ave Nimchi, has some good moments as Louise, the cashier. Jean-Louis Maury and Albert Dinan are seen as Marcel and Albert. Mario David plays Albert Lapierre, the motorcyclist.
This film is a "must see" for all Claude Chabrol's fans