While celebrating his birthday, police inspector Basquier (Bernard Blier) recalls two of his most-celebrated cases. The first involves duplicitous moneylender Olga (Suzy Prin). The second concerns the brutal broad-daylight murder of innocent young Yvonne (Veronique Deschamps).
Author & amateur astronomer John Putnam and schoolteacher Ellen Fields witness an enormous meteorite come down near a small town in Arizona, but Putnam becomes a local object of scorn when, after examining the object up close, he announces that it is a spacecraft, and that it is inhabited.
The script, which was written on a day-to-day basis as the film was being shot, concerns the adventures of a motley crew of swindlers and ne'er-do-wells trying to lay claim to land rich in uranium deposits in Kenya as they wait in a small Italian port to travel aboard an ill-fated tramp steamer en route to Mombasa.