During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German POW camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
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"Tire -au -flanc" belongs to a genre which is really an acquired taste,the coarse comedy.It reached its peak in the thirties when Raimu and Fernandel starred in "les Gaietés de l'Escadron" or "Ignace" ,not those two actors at their best.
It's not because a movie was made by Jean Renoir (or..... fill in the blank)that it must be looked upon as an immortal masterpiece.Although they did not take place in barracks ,"la chienne" and even "on purge bébé" had a stronger anti-militarist feel.Here,when Jean Renoir regains his humor,his wit and his rebellious spirit ,it's principally in the subtitles :his lines (and cartoons)seem to possess something the pictures sometimes lack.
Of course,there are funny scenes: the girl's presence in the barracks is good fun.But the last pictures are finally a capitulation;after all,-I quote the colonel- the Army succeeds in making men! Is that really funny to press-gang young men into a relatively comfortable army?Opinions differ.
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