|Index||5 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
... and I DO mean magical. But then why not, the script is the work of Jacques Prevert who enjoyed nothing more than dabbling in fantasy - see: Les Portes de la nuit, Les Visiteurs du soir if you don't believe me - and the direction is by his kid brother, Pierre. This was the third and last time the brothers worked together and Voyage Surprise is a worthy follow up to Adieu, Leonard, three years earlier. With the possible exception of Martine Carol - who featured in the odd soft-porn like Caroline Cherie and later played Lola Montes for Ophuls - virtually the entire cast is unknown outside France and that is the world outside France's loss because every last eccentric is worth ten Tom Cruises. If I told you the plot you wouldn't believe it (as I wouldn't if you told it to me) so suffice it to say that an old man realizes a lifelong ambition to host a 'Mystery Tour' in a custom-built bus that might have been designed by the guests at the Mad Hatter's tea party to transport the denizens of Wonderland through the looking glass and into the 'real' world of 1947. That should be sufficient to tell you if this is your kind of movie or not; if 'yes' then you'll Delight in its myriad wonders, if 'no' get well soon.
The basic premise: A retired bus driver fulfills his lifelong dream of providing an extended "voyage surprise" (the title is translated as "Mystery Tour") for unsuspecting vacationers. They soon realize, while riding in the old man's home-made bus, that he hasn't bothered to plan any kind of itinerary. As a result, they end up in completely preposterous situations, of course. Voyage surprise!
Gangsters in Paris. Flic on a motorbike. Brothel where your fantasies
come true. Coach going where? (It's a Mystery Tour - Voyage Surprise!).
I have seen this movie only twice, the last time being about 20 years ago at the London Barbican. Just thinking of it brings back memories of times and places.
It is /was in monochrome and reflective of Bunuel, but has optimism that denies the devastation of WW2.
Probably my favourite movie of all time. I would so much like to see it again - is there any chance of a video/DVD release in the UK?
Hollywood must have made a remake of it? - if not there is surely an opportunity.
Voyage Surprise is the funniest and surprising trip of a circumstances sampled group of poetic and comic characters in the post-war France. Each character is rich, each actor just perfect. Every word, every sentence (by Jacques Prevert) might be kept in an anthology. Who didn't leave Fleurville aboard Rossinante, who never visited the SOS Hurricane bedroom in the former Verdeau's whorehouse, who never performed Latude's Escapes in the Palavas-les-Flots' casino, misses a wonderful part of the french humor, wit and poetry. I probably never saw a film with so many scenes to remember and treasure. In fact, I think I saw it more than 15 times along the last 30 years, and I would see it again with delight.
When I was in the theater business we screened this film as a double bill with the Beatle's "Magical Mystery Tour". The story goes that this was the source material for their idea. It is quite an enjoyable film and is quite an unexpected romp for the audience. If you can, see them together.
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