An American boy and a French girl run away from a Swiss school making for Paris to reunite with their parents. The boy's father and the girl's mother join forces, despite cultural differences, to search for their kids.
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While setting up a business in Paris, American widower Michael Andrews has placed his adolescent son, Danny Andrews, in a Swiss boarding school as Mike has no time during this phase of the business set-up to look after Danny on his own. Mike receives distressing news that Danny has run away from the school with another student, Parisienne Janine Duval. This news does not sit well with either Mike or Janine's divorcée mother, Suzanne Duval. Suzanne believes Danny is a delinquent influence on her daughter, while Mike believes Janine is an enabler as non-French speaking Danny could not manage outside the school without some language assistance. They learn from another student that Danny is heading to Paris to show Mike that he is independent enough to live in Paris with Mike, while Janine tagged along because she sees herself as Danny's girl and as she has not seen her mother in some time. As the children have not been gone long and as there is only one road between the school and Paris,... Written by
A happy comic scoot along the French countryside involving an American and a Parisienne who get embroiled in a bicycle race, pique-nique (picnic), NATO, Gendarmerie and in each other - all done delightfully and amusingly.
The film was originally titled "The Happy Journey". See more »
At the very beginning, when the boy is running away, he is shown throwing his knotted rope over the railing, and immediately beginning the climb down. The next shot shows him continuing his climb, but now the rope is tied with a big knot on the railing, though he didn't stop to do that. See more »
This isn't a great movie. There's no singing, no dancing, not even any Technicolor. The story is pleasant but fairly obvious; there are no real surprises.
But it's worth watching.
Briefly, it's the story of two children in a Swiss boarding school who miss their parents and decide to head to Paris to find them. Because they don't have much money, and because the story depends on it, they set off on foot, hitching rides, etc., until they finally get to Paris.
Meanwhile, their parents try to find them and keep just missing them, all the way to Paris.
None of that is particularly interesting.
What is interesting, instead, are the vignettes of French country and small-town life that fill most of the movie. (The scenes involving the British army on maneuvers don't fit with this and are the weakest part of the movie.) I won't claim that this is a documentary; it's not meant to be. But it's a pleasantly romantic view of small-town and country life in France in the post-War years, and that is interesting.
Eventually the hard-working American businessman, father of the escaped boy, learns something from these people, and that's a little forced. *Mame* will teach the same lesson much better a year later, with much better dialogue.
But this is a pleasant way to think about what is now a lost world, and to wonder what of it might be retained today.
As I said, don't expect a masterpiece. Don't expect another *Gigot*, which is really a wonderful movie. But do expect to spend a pleasant 99 minutes.
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