Two men, a painter and a poor guy, have to cross over Paris by night during World War II and to deliver black market meat. As they walk along dark Parisian streets, they encounter various ...
See full summary »
A feisty country girl Xiao Feng nicknamed Wild Rose has moved to the city with her artist friend Jiang after her father's disappearance. They move to Shanghai and discover that it is a city that only caters for the privileged few.
In this Franco-Italian gangster parody, a shop keeper on his way to an Italian holiday suffers a crash which totals his car. The culprit can only compensate his ruined trip by driving an ... See full summary »
Louis de Funès,
A wanted gangster is both king and prisoner of the Casbah. He is protected from arrest by his friends, but is torn by his desire for freedom outside. A visiting Parisian beauty may just tempt his fate.
Don Salluste, a petty tyrant in his own home and minister of the King of Spain, falls from grace. Wanting revenge, he tries to compromize the Queen with his valet Blaze, introduced as his ... See full summary »
Louis de Funès,
Albert is an inn owner who vowed never to drink again if he and his wife survived the war. They did, and the reformed alcoholic keeps his vow. But times have changed and soon after the war,... See full summary »
The frozen body of Paul Fournier is discovered in Greenland where he had disappeared during a scientific expedition in 1905. Perfectly conserved he is brought back to life in the 1960s. His... See full summary »
Louis de Funès,
A RAF Bomber is shot down over Paris by the Germans. Its crew (Terry Thomas as a flight captain) land there by parachute. With the help of some French civilians (Louis De Funès in the role ... See full summary »
Antoine Brisebard, a famous comedy playwright, is struggling with financial difficulties and is preparing to sell his country villa to an English couple. What no one knows, however, is that... See full summary »
Louis de Funès,
Léonard Monestier has made his fortune trading on the stock exchange. His eccentric wife Cynthia almost bankrupts him by selling some of his shares to buy an oil concession in South America... See full summary »
Two men, a painter and a poor guy, have to cross over Paris by night during World War II and to deliver black market meat. As they walk along dark Parisian streets, they encounter various characters and adventures until they are arrested by German police. Written by
"La traversee de Paris" is a brilliant and often profound blend of comedy and drama. The story is rather uncommon and told in a most anti-rhetoric way. During World War II, in Paris occupied by the Nazis, two men have to deliver four cases filled with pork meat, for the black market. They cross the city overnight, trying to avoid French cops and German soldiers, as well.
The fun is mainly based on the duets between the two "heroes", Grandgil (Jean Gabin), and Martin (Bourvil), supported by a first-rate witty script. These two characters are drawn with psychological depth. Grandgil is somehow a mysterious man. Sometimes he seems to be a sort of thug. He despises and bullies innocent by-standers. He wants to cheat and steal the pork meat, following a sort of selfish anarchism. But many clues make the viewer feel that all this should be a Grandgil's joke. On the contrary, Martin is proud to be a decent person, and to keep honest and correct even working for the black market. The unavoidable quarrels arising between the two men build a non-standard but deep friendship. Extraordinary is the actors' job. Jean Gabin is deservedly a cinema legend, and never disappoints the audience. Here the always excellent Bourvil is on a par with his great partner.
On the background we have the masterly rendered atmosphere of those bleak years. French people is oppressed by deprivations and lack of food. Patriotism and heroic resistance are far from being appreciated. People are widely depressed by French defeat on the battle-field, and just wait for the end of the war and of German invasion. The first scene sets the tone of the movie. A blind beggar plays the Marseillese with his fiddle. Martin is displeased. What's the point of vainly provoking the Nazis? However he gives a coin to the beggar. And even a German officer gives money to the blind man. As a matter of fact, German soldiers do not appear as cruel barbarians. The officer who questions Grandgil and Martin is even nice. But when something wrong happens (namely, an attack against a German colonel), then the inhuman ferocity of Nazism shows his face. And the French hostages blame the partisans for that! Meanwhile, the swashbuckler Grandgil, always ready to despise other people's cowardice, realizes that in tragic circumstances one must care only for himself and his own life. There is a lot of depth in these scenes, believe me.
It is not surprising that this excellent movie was reviled by French audiences and critics when released. This anti-heroic, even petty representation of French people at war-time, was surely hard to swallow.
A magnificent nocturnal photography and artistic camera work, together with a first-rate direction by Autant-Lara, add further value to this superb movie.
The final scene may appear somehow stuck to the movie. But it contains an important message. Life has won, life continues. Common, simple, decent people survived. Barbarians have lost, doomed to destruction by their own infernal wickedness.
"La traversee de Paris" is a gem of French cinema. Highly recommended.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?