It is often considered the first product of the “Nouvelle Vague” movement. It is about a young man Francois (Brialy) who returns to his native village and finds that his childhood friend (Blain) has become a hopeless drunk. It is Brialy’s efforts to rekindle the youthful promise once shown by his pal that form the bulk of the stark goings-on. While much of the first half focuses on Francois’s attempts to solve the mystery of Le Beau Serge , the second half of the film increasingly comes to focus upon why it is that Francois is so obsessed with saving first Serge and then the entire village. Though Chabrol offers us no easy answers , the depth of Francois’s guilt is such that his attempt to protect Serge and his family eventually come to seem insane. The remarkable and stark Le Beau Serge announced the arrival of a great who would go on to craft provocative , entertaining films for five decades.