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The Big Runaround (1966)
"La grande vadrouille" (original title)

 -  Comedy | War  -  8 December 1966 (France)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 8,936 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 13 critic

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 »

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Writers:

(scenario), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Big Runaround (1966)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bourvil ...
Augustin Bouvet
...
Stanislas Lefort
Claudio Brook ...
Peter Cunningham
Andréa Parisy ...
Soeur Marie-Odile / Sister Marie-Odile
Colette Brosset ...
Germaine
Mike Marshall ...
Mary Marquet ...
Mère Supérieure
Pierre Bertin ...
Le grand-père de Juliette - propriétaire du guignol
Benno Sterzenbach ...
Major Achbach
Marie Dubois ...
Juliette
...
Sir Reginald
Sieghardt Rupp ...
Lt. Stuermer
Reinhard Kolldehoff ...
Un caporal allemand
Helmuth Schneider ...
L'officier allemand dans le train (as Helmut Schneider)
Paul Préboist ...
Le pêcheur
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Storyline

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 of a conductor and Bourvil as a house painter) they try to escape over the demarcation line into the southern part of France, still not occupied by the Germans. Written by Gerard Bader <badergac@wxs.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

8 December 1966 (France)  »

Also Known As:

La Grande Vadrouille  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 5,414,000 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was seen by 17 million people in France, a box-office record in that country until Titanic (1997). See more »

Goofs

In the wide shots, the engine of the passenger train with which Peter Cunningham tries to escape, has large smoke deflector plates. When stopped in the station near Meursault, however, the engine has no more defelctor plates. See more »

Quotes

Sir Reginald: I wonder where are we now?
Alan MacIntosh: We must be over Calais sir.
Sir Reginald: [the clouds clear, then the Eiffel Tower is visible] Yeah, Calais!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Monsieur de Funès (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Rakoczy March S. 11
Written by Hector Berlioz (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the most popular French movies of all time
29 December 2002 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

Starring the famous Bourvil/Louis de Funes tandem it is a highly entertaining caper set in WWII German-occupied France, where these 2 unlikely heroes reluctantly must help some downed British airmen to escape.

A perennial favourite on French TV during the Christmas or Easter holidays it is one of those rare movies you can watch over and over again without getting tired of it. It runs more than two hours but moves along at an incredible pace. Movie relies bigtime on the clash of character between de Funes as the self-important musical director of the Opéra de Paris and Bourvil as the simple housepainter. But also the hilarious script, some spectacular setpieces (including a spielbergesque chase by German sidecars) and a surprising finale all add up to making `Vadrouille' one of the best and most entertaining French movies ever.

Made on a lavish budget by Gerard Oury who would go on to make some other highly succesfull comedies, mostly starring big French stars as de Funes and Bourvil, but also Jean-Paul Belmondo, Pierre Richard and Christian Clavier. Incidentally his next venture was to be the equally succesfull `The Brain', starring none other than David Niven (!) and Eli Wallach, backed up by Bourvil and Belmondo. Bourvil and de Funes should be reunited again by Oury in `La folie des Grandeurs' but then sadly Bourvil passed away. He was replaced by none other than Yves Montand.

Up to that time movies made in France took war rather seriously, but `La grande vadrouille' sparked of an endless string of farces set in WWII which almost invariably depicted the French as very clever and cunning, always outwitting the Germans in the end. Even the recent (2002) `Laissez-Passer' from much-acclaimed director Bertrand Tavernier is based on this premiss.

If you like this definitely try to see `Le Corniaud', the first de Funes/Bourvil caper by Oury or why not `Mais ou est donc passé la 7ieme compagnie ?' as a prime example of the smart French vs not-so-smart German theme.


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