A self-portrait of a French industrialist reveals a conscientious craftsmanship which still does not succeed in investing credibility in the character and conduct of Felix Tallemand, who is an archetypical opportunist. The setting is Paris before, during and after World War II, and through the pages of Tallemand's diary a story of unscrupulous activities emerges. Tallemand is stupid, smug, and possibly the victim of self-deception in that his right hand never seems to know what his left hand is doing. In his insatiable drive for power he collaborates with the Germans, kills his brother, betrays a woman, makes a frustrated recluse of his daughter, and sends a Jewish family to a horrible death. All of which makes him susceptible to a stomach disorder and a vague sense of unworthiness which causes him to ""cry out of the depths"" and seek forgiveness from the survivors of those he had maimed... A precise demonstration of one man's actions and their terminal results, none of which are calculated to attract your sympathies or for that matter a more popular type of American audience.