The legendary Billy Wilder made his debut as a director with this comedy, shot in France (in collaboration with Alexander Esway) shortly before Wilder emigrated to the United States. Henry (Pierre Mingland) is a carefree young man who has fallen out of favor with his wealthy father, a doctor. Short on money and looking for excitement, Henry becomes involved with a gang of car thieves, and gets to know Jeanette (Danielle Darrieux), sister of the gang's leader who often acts as a decoy to distract young men with new cars as the thieves do their work. Henry soon falls in love with Jeanette, but discovers a life of crime is a bit more dangerous than he was counting on. Mauvaise Graine would prove to be Wilder's last European film; he wouldn't direct again for another nine years, when he made The Major and the Minor after establishing himself as a top screenwriter.
by Mark Deming synopsis