Cast & Crew
Yan returns home to his village in Flanders after being acquitted of killing his stepfather. His old friends, including Franz, a mechanic, have deserted him, and the villagers are still suspicious of him. Yan's only friends are revealed to be Gus, who finds him a job, and the village abbé. Gus intends to marry his mistress Marie, but Marie and Yan feel an increasing attraction to each other. Marie goes to the abbé to confess her problems, but he is not kind to her, possibly because he too is attracted to her. While Gus is out of town, Yan and Marie consummate their love for each other, but at the local dance Franz beats up Yan while calling him a murderer. Yan offers no defense to the beating. Gus returns home, learns of the affair, and sets out to murder Yan, but he cannot kill his friend. Yan realizes that he cannot hurt Gus, his only real friend, and tells Marie that he will not run away with her. Heartbroken, she runs into the forest and is killed in an automobile accident by Gus's mother, Madame Dorneck. Gus brings her body to the village, and the villagers think Yan has killed her. Franz inflames the vigilante atmosphere and, guns in hand, the villagers try to attack Yan. He is defended by the abbé, who is killed when Franz fires his gun. The abbé's body joins Marie's in the church.
Max De Rieux
Opened in Paris in July 1962 as La croix des vivants. Sources conflict in crediting actor playing Nell.