French director Julien Duvivier (Pepe le Moko) spent the World War II years as an exile in Hollywood, then returned home to direct this crackerjack mystery (1946), which probes at some of his countrymen’s worst instincts. In a suburb of Paris, a woman is found murdered, and the burly, bearded Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon), a local eccentric who fancies himself a photojournalist, begins to investigate the crime, only to become the prime suspect in the eyes of the townspeople. Midway through the film there’s a kinetic set piece in which Hire, following the real killer and his lover into a carnival bumper-car ride, becomes the target of every other car on the floor; the sequence seems like a throwaway but turns out to be eerily apropos for a story driven by gossip, hysteria, and scapegoating. The source material was a novel by Georges Simenon, creator of the popular Inspector Maigret. In French with subtitles.