MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 197 this week

The French, They Are a Funny Race (1955)
"Les carnets du Major Thompson" (original title)

6.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 54 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

Major Thompson, an Englishman living in France, comments in his memoirs on the peculiarities of his French wife and friends.

Director:

Writers:

(book),
0Check in
0Share...

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 6727 titles
created 03 Dec 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The French, They Are a Funny Race (1955)

The French, They Are a Funny Race (1955) on IMDb 6.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The French, They Are a Funny Race.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A composer suspects his wife of cheating. He plots to kill her and frame it on her lover.

Director: Howard Zieff
Stars: Dudley Moore, Nastassja Kinski, Armand Assante
Easy Living (1937)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought (very expensive) sable coat and throws it out the window, it lands on poor ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

On an ocean voyage, a card shark and her father cheat a naive man out of his money. Things take a twist when the girl falls in love with the man she's just fleeced.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: George Gobel, Mitzi Gaynor, David Niven
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A European princess arrives in New York City to secure a much-needed loan for her country. She contracts the mumps, and an actress who looks exactly like her is hired to impersonate her.

Director: Marion Gering
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Cary Grant, Edward Arnold
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young French soldier in World War I is overcome with guilt when he kills a German soldier who, like himself, is a musically gifted conscript, each having attended the same musical ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Nancy Carroll, Phillips Holmes
I'll Be Yours (1947)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A small-town girl tells a small fib to a wealthy businessman; complications ensue.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Tom Drake, William Bendix
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Movie star has triplets, but does not want her beloved public to find out. Has she made a mistake in hiring Jerry Lewis as the babysitter ?

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Marilyn Maxwell, Connie Stevens
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A beautiful 17th-century witch returns to life to plague politician Wallace Wooley, descendant of her persecutor.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Fredric March, Veronica Lake, Robert Benchley
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A simple young woman helps eccentric old countess deal with her old age and she introduces the young woman to a world of upper class society.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Liza Minnelli, Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer
Monte Carlo (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Minutes before her wedding to Duke Otto Von Seibenheim, Countess Helene Mara flees, on a whim, to Monte Carlo, where she hopes her luck will save her poor financial state. There, Count ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Jack Buchanan, Claud Allister
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After two years under German rule, a small Norwegian fishing village rises up and revolts against the occupying Nazis.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Errol Flynn, Ann Sheridan, Walter Huston
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man's life is retold just after his funeral. Beginning as a track walker, Tom Garner rose through all sorts of railroad jobs to head the company. In the meantime he lost touch with his ... See full summary »

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Colleen Moore, Ralph Morgan
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Buchanan ...
Maj. Thompson
...
Martine Thompson
Noël-Noël ...
M. Taupin
Totti Truman Taylor ...
Miss Fyfyth
Catherine Boyle ...
(as Catherine Boyl)
André Luguet ...
M. Fusillard
Geneviève Brunet ...
Ursula Thompson - la première femme du Major
...
Mme. Taupin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Balpo
Madeleine Barbulée ...
La femme de chambre
Charles Bayard
Marguerite Bour
François de Breteuil ...
Marc
Henri Coutet
Lucien Frégis
Edit

Storyline

Major Thompson, an Englishman living in France, comments in his memoirs on the peculiarities of his French wife and friends.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 December 1955 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The French, They Are a Funny Race  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The final film directed by Preston Sturges. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Disappointment for Sturges fans
3 June 2002 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

"Les Carnets du Major Thompson" was based on a novel by Pierre Daninos which was a best-seller in France in the early 1950s. The title literally translates as "Major Thompson's Medals", but a more appropriate translation would be "Major Thompson's Trophies", with "trophies" representing a sexual double-entendre. The novel depicts the adventures of a rather befuddled Englishman living in France, trying to adapt to French ways and falling in love with a Frenchwoman. The Englishman (Major Thompson) is the butt of all the humour, which is why this novel was so popular in France: although set in France, it makes fun of Englishmen!

The film version of "Major Thompson" was directed by Preston Sturges, after he'd rendered himself unemployable in Hollywood and was living in exile. Sturges spoke French fluently, having lived in Paris during his childhood. (Believe it or not, Preston Sturges's mother was the artist who created and gave to Isidora Duncan the long hand-painted scarf which caused Duncan's legendary death by strangulation!) But Sturges's francophilia is the only plus-factor in this terrible movie. His talent was long gone by this time, and so was his energy. The plot of "Major Thompson" is extremely episodic (like its source novel), and the film lurches from one weak scene to another. The fade-out gag is painfully unfunny, like the rest of the film.

Major Thompson is played by Jack Buchanan, a Scotsman who fitted the American conception of "English"-ness much more neatly than most genuine Englishmen did. Buchanan gave excellent performances in several previous films, but he was dying of cancer when he went to France to film "Major Thompson", and it shows. He's a dead man walking.

The only scene in this film which is even vaguely funny occurs when Thompson and his French equestrienne paramour go riding. Their horses won't stay put in front of the cameras, and keep wandering off with their riders brought unwillingly along. Buchanan looks genuinely perplexed as his horse keeps carrying him away from the camera. This scene works so well (in contrast to the rest of the movie) that I don't believe it was planned: I think that the horses were genuinely ill-trained, and Sturges had the good sense to let the horses "ad lib" and steal the scene.

Noél-Noél, a French comedian with a rather comic face (whom I've never found funny otherwise) does a brief cameo, drinking Byrrh in a sidewalk cafe. He doesn't do anything funny here, apart from looking straight into the camera ... which in his case is good for one quick laugh.

I'll rate "Les Carnets du Major Thompson" zero points. I wanted so much to like this movie, because I'm a fan of Preston Sturges and a fan of Jack Buchanan: this was their only collaboration, and the last film for both. But it's sad and unfunny, and I can't recommend it on any level


24 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The French, They Are a Funny Race (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?