The Tsar Alexandre II meets a young student, Katia. He understands that he loves her and try to send her away but they end up seeing each other again and becomes his mistress. With the help of Katia, Alexandre prepares a liberal constitution, but these reforms make him hostile to the more privileged subjects without satirising the revolutionaries against the regime.
Outwardly, Monsieur Victor would appear to be the model citizen. A respectable Toulon shopkeeper, he has a devoted wife and is courteous and considerate to all who know him. However, beneath this veneer of respectability hides a notorious receiver of stolen goods, who trades with hardened criminals. Victor manages to keep up his double life without any difficulty until the fateful day when one of his partners in crime threatens to expose him. Fearing a scandal, Victor kills the crook in a moment of panic, using a shoemaker's tool. Naturally, the murder is blamed on a local shoemaker, who is sentenced to ten years' hard labour. Seven years later, the former shoemaker reappears in Toulon, having escaped from prison. The first person to recognise him is Monsieur Victor...
Antinea. the Queen of Atlantis, rules her secret kingdom hidden beneath the Sahara Desert. One day two lost explorers stumble into her kingdom, and soon realize that they haven't really been saved--Antinea has a habit of taking men as lovers, then when she's done with them, she kills them and keeps them mummified.
The young and patriotic student Demachy joins the French army in 1914 to defend his country. But he and his comrades soon experience the terrifying, endless trench war in Champagne, where more and more wooden crosses have to be erected for this cannon fodder.