powered by AFI
Discharged from the army for mental instability, Antoine Doinel visits a prostitute. He then goes to the home of his girl friend, Christine Darbon. Although Christine is away on a skiing trip, Antoine stays for dinner and later takes a job as a night clerk in a Montmartre hotel. While on the job, Antoine is tricked by private detective Monsieur Henri into opening a room where the wife of one of Henri's clients is in bed with her lover. Antoine is promptly fired, and feeling sorry for him, Henri finds him a job with the Blady Detective Agency. Antoine loses the trail of a nanny who spends her afternoons working as a stripteaser, bungles the case of a homosexual who suspects his magician friend of having a clandestine affair, and then is assigned to the case of Monsieur Tabard, an obnoxious man obsessed with the idea that everyone hates him. Antoine is told to work in Tabard's shoe salon and spy on the employees. Depressed by the lack of interest Christine shows in him, Antoine becomes enamored of Tabard's beautiful wife, Fabienne. She invites him to lunch, and he is so overwhelmed by her that he spills a cup of coffee, and bolts out of the house. She sends him a kind note, and he responds with a passionate letter of farewell inspired by a Balzac novel. The next morning Fabienne comes to his room and persuades him to make love for the first and last time before parting. A short time later Monsieur Henri dies, and Antoine ends his career as a private detective. He goes to work as a television repairman, and Christine takes advantage of her parents' absence by pulling out wires from her television and then calling for service. Antoine makes a shambles of the set and stays the night. The following day as they are discussing their marriage plans in the park, a stranger appears before them. Dismissing Antoine's presence, he declares his love for Christine and announces that someday she will marry him. After the stranger has left, Antoine and Christine question the man's sanity and walk off hand in hand.