Le Juge et L'Assassin probes a curious relationship between condemner and condemnee. Philippe Noiret plays Rousseau, a French judge who holds the fate of convicted child killer Bouvier (Michel Galabru) in his hands. Should Rousseau decide that Bouvier is insane, the killer will not go prison. As they come to know each other better, both are given the rare opportunity of exploring the vagaries of the human mind. The previously unbendable judge alters several long-held opinions concerning criminals, while Bouvier is for the first time in his life able to articulate the thought processes which motivate his actions. It is clear at times that much of the dialogue in Judge and the Assassin stems from Bertrand Tavernier's own lifelong feelings of loneliness and isolation.
by Hal Erickson synopsis