6.9/10
395
5 user 6 critic

The Sheep Has Five Legs (1954)

Le mouton à cinq pattes (original title)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Édouard Saint-Forget / Les quintuplés : Alain, Bernard, Charles, Désiré et Etienne
...
Marianne Durand-Perrin
...
Un marin
Michel Ardan ...
Un marin
Edmond Ardisson ...
Le brigadier
Georges Chamarat ...
M. Durand-Perrin, le père
Édouard Delmont ...
Le docteur Bollène
...
Solange Saint-Forget
Ky Duyen ...
Un chinois (as Ky-Duyen)
...
Pilate (as Louis de Funes)
Leopoldo Francés ...
Le métis
Micheline Gary ...
L'hôtesse de l'instutut de beauté
René Génin ...
Le maire
Denise Grey ...
Mme Durand-Perrin, la mère
Tony Jacquot ...
L'instituteur
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Storyline

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Taglines:

The Incomparable FERNANDEL...in a delightful 'tour de force" See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

24 September 1954 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Sheep Has Five Legs  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story of Father Charles, who hides away because he is laughed at due to his similarity to "that priest in the movies", is a reference to the series of films being made at that time in which Fernandel played Don Camillo. See more »

Connections

References The Little World of Don Camillo (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE SHEEP HAS FIVE LEGS (Henri Verneuil, 1954) ***
14 February 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

French comic Fernandel occupies basically the same niche as Jerry Lewis and Norman Wisdom do in American and British cinema respectively: his immense popularity is as much a mystery to this viewer as his particular brand of fooling – prone to excessive mugging and with pathos never too far away – is resistible. To be fair to him, he tried his hand more regularly at serious fare, finding a congenial rapport with such luminaries as Marcel Pagnol, Julien Duvivier (who also started the star off on the series revolving around his signature role of Don Camillo – which even gets a delightful lampoon here, but more on this later) and the director of this film.

A favourite premise with star comedians is their showing off in multiple roles: in fact, Fernandel here plays a family patriarch and his five offsprings; frankly, I was surprised he did not include a female impersonation among the lot – but the characters are, in any case, sufficiently differentiated between them. Typically, some get more attention than others: however, this eventually pays off here when one of them himself becomes the father of sextuplets (to go along with the four he already had!).

The narrative follows a necessarily episodic structure, which invariably yields hits and misses throughout; still, the highlights are pretty memorable: the bucolic old man's noisy disapproval of a highbrow play being staged inside an amphitheatre; the ne'er-do-well family man's tenure with creepy funeral director Louis De Funes (who would grow to similar stardom by the next decade) – on the other hand, his brushes with a celebrated beautician sibling are less successful...but do feature a surprising amount of nudity!; a journalist, reduced to serving as "Agony Aunt" on a magazine, is mistaken for a young woman's wealthy but middle-aged intended when he goes to visit her stuffy family actually bearing the news of the man's sudden death; a 'salty dog' engages first in routine card-play with various shifty types and then, after he loses everything (including the ship's cargo), an intense game of chance involving a fly and two pieces of sugar in an effort to retrieve his losses and make a 'killing' besides (this, too, is a fairly risqué scene – showing a girl in the skimpiest of South Sea attires!); a curate has become reclusive because the locals do not take him seriously on account of him being a dead-ringer for the afore-mentioned Don Camillo!

The movie received an Oscar nomination for the heavily-credited story, following its 1955 U.S. release; incidentally, an unspecified prize did go its way at the Locarno International Film Festival. To be honest, having watched this, I am willing to cut Fernandel some slack by approaching his filmography with more of an open mind (I do own a fair amount to tide me over) – if anything, I ought to give his "Don Camillo" outings a glance at long last...having missed out on them countless times on Italian TV ever since my childhood days!


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