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The Big Scare (1964)
"La grande frousse" (original title)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 232 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

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(based upon the novel "La cité de l'indicible peur" by), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Big Scare (1964)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bourvil ...
Inspecteur Simon Triquet
...
Douve
Francis Blanche ...
Franqui
Victor Francen ...
Docteur Chabert
Jean Poiret ...
Loupiac, un gendarme
Raymond Rouleau ...
Chabriant, la maire
Jacques Dufilho ...
Gosseran
René-Louis Lafforgue ...
Le boucher
Roger Legris ...
M. Paul, le pharmacien
Fred Pasquali ...
L'oncle de Simon Triquet (as Pasquali)
Véronique Nordey ...
Livina
Marcel Pérès ...
Inspecteur Virgus
Lisette Lebon ...
Une employée au bordel
Jenny Orléans ...
Madame Gosseran
Maria-Rosa Rodriguez ...
Gilda
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28 October 1964 (France)  »

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The Big Scare  »

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User Reviews

 
Imaginative and hilarious
9 April 2005 | by (Paris, France) – See all my reviews

In the 60's, director Jean-Pierre Mocky shot several wonderful movies before his inspiration decreased in the 80's and 90's, leading him to cheaper and cheaper productions (in spite of a recent surge). In "La Cité de l'indicible peur", he's at the top of his game, with this very subversive production. French comedian Bourvil is a police inspector who trails a counterfeiter and spends several days in a small rural town, where you'll find one policeman, one butcher, one doctor, one chemist, and so on. And, supposedly, one bald, hard-drinking, cold-sensitive, cassoulet hating, murdering counterfeiter.

Needless to say, this investigation turns out to be a McGuffin or a red herring to a string of strange events in the town of Barges (also French for "loonies"). A killing beast roams at night, mannequins of the local saint lower hatchets and half printed banknotes go with the wind. Bourvil is perfectly cast as a good-willing and clueless investigator and the supporting characters are at least as interesting as his. What makes the movie works is that Mocky always manages to draw a thin line between iron-fisted anarchy and empathy towards his characters. At the beginning of the movie, Bourvil is put in charge of the investigation by a chief who turns out to be his own uncle, an apparently authoritative figure. At the end of the scene, when he's alone, you notice that the uncle is actually a diminutive man who climbs on a stool to look more impressive. This is the kind of slight touches that fill the entire movie.

One close relative to "La Cité de l'indicible peur" would be the "Twin Peaks" TV show. Actually, the movie forecasts the mood of "Twin Peaks" with a much lighter tone.


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