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Jean-Marie Tardel is the managing director of a leading petroleum company. His dominance in the marketplace is threatened when a modest garage attendant, Bernard Bérian, wins a bid to supply petrol from Africa at a price far below that of his competitors. To make matters worse, Tardel’s own supplier, the Emir Abdullah, has announced that he intends to raise the price of his own oil. During the Emir’s visit to Paris, Tardel does everything he can to win him round, knowing that if he fails he could be ruined. Unfortunately, the Emir’s mind is on other matters...