Widely regarded as one of Alan Resnais' finest films, Stavisky attempts to shed some light on the eponymous, enigmatic and yet comparatively unknown Russian emigre who scandalised France. Stavisky (Jean-Paul Belmondo) built an empire through a combination of subterfuge, fraud and false identity, becoming, as the more respectably titled Serge Alexandre, one of the most influential and powerful men in France in the period between the wars. As the investigations of Inspector Bonny (Claude Rich) reveal, Stavisky's life was the perfect sham, which took in businessmen, financiers and politicians of all persuasions. Eschewing a straight historical biopic, Resnais and writer Jorge Semprun (Z) restrict the scope of the film to the last few months of Stavisky's eventful life, covering his spectacular fall from grace. A work of rare technical brilliance in which the period detail is impeccable, Stavisky'S score is courtesy of Stephen Sondheim.