Film director Georges Lautner, who worked with Philippe Sarde on a dozen films, said that he was always impressed by the composer's ability to find an original musical approach to each picture. This time, Sarde, who always closely follows the editing process, suggested that they needed a strong soloist, preferably a tenor saxophone player, who would serve as a musical counterpart for the actor Alain Delon's famous good looks. Being a perfectionist, he opted for Stan Getz, one of the all-time great tenor saxophonists. Watching Getz's performance, Lautner decided to find a way to put the musician in the picture. He filmed Getz playing the opening theme, "Paris, Cinq Heures du Matin," solo, and it's the saxophonist's silhouette that appears during the credits sequence in the beginning of the film. The score was recorded in London using Getz's own band's rhythm section and the London Symphony Orchestra. The soundtrack turned out to be costly, but the director was pleased with the outcome. Sarde's instincts were right -- Getz's saxophone gave the soundtrack a lyrical, nostalgic quality -- fitting for Alain Delon's quest in the film for the sake of the past, to honor the memory of his dead friend.
AllMusic Review by Yuri German