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NIKOS SONIC (1966nm)10 March 2004
The film that almost killed my friend R-G, from an overdose of laughs, "Oscar" has a special place in my cinema loving mind, not because it is original or something, but because it's so damn good!

The best big screen version of a theatrical play, (Sylvester Stallone didn't do too bad, but when you compare with Louis de Funès you are doomed to loose!) it practically takes place inside a house, during one day. The confusion that is created by a series of misunderstandings, carries you away and makes you feel compassion for the desperation of Louis de Funès, during the breaks you take from laughing, in order to breath.

Sorry for my enthusiasm, but I like this one a lot. I know that opinions vary, but in my opinion, "Oscar" is one of the best comedies ever made, mostly for the amount of funny situations it serves you throughout the entire film.

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If you want to laugh without stopping....watch it
nemotz17 December 2004
This movie can't be translated, because De Funès is acting perfectly. It's the type of comedy we don't see anymore in films, probably because it takes a very good actor to create almost continuous comic effects. This is achieved because it's a play-like movie, with just one act. It amazed me to realize that I had just watched a long, hilarious play, with few breaks without getting bored for a second.

The many clichés would have ruined it if everything wasn't gravitating around the main character. It is a sort of getting De Funès from 'The Restaurant' and putting him on continuous play. The sweat on his face makes you admire his devotion to his job. He should be thanked with a bow for being almost perfect.

A swarm of characters flying around you, making you laugh with tears.Without doubt a classic.
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stembrook25 February 2003
This is one of my favorites since I've watched it for the first time as a kid. It's a typical french comedy from the 60's era. You can watch the movie several times and it is still funny; it makes you dizzy trying to find out in which of the several black suit cases the money, the jewelry or the lingerie is...and it's a treat to watch Louis de Funes trying to make sense of all the confusion. And his nervous breakdown in the middle of the film wrote movie history. The supporting cast is equally funny, just watch out for the masseur! Don't waste your time with the remake by John Landis with Sylvester Stallone in the leading role, go for the original one.
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40 years after: still the best comedy script ever (DVD)
leplatypus1 November 2009
The script is stuffed with manipulations, lies, surprises and dumb characters so it's nearly one laugh guaranteed with every lines! To keep your pleasure, i wouldn't tell more, above all it is very complicated to resume!

I had the pleasure to see 3 versions of this story: one with "Sly" Stallone, another with Bernard Tapie (ex-president of the biggest football club in France, ex-Minister, ex-prisoner and now actor) and this one with De Funès.This latter, even being the oldest stays the best and for a long time, I think!

When people say De Funès knows only to make faces, I would recommend watching "Oscar" wide eyes open! Louis excels with his tone, his energy and his reactions. If he plays again and always a Machiavellian bad guy, for me, he shows a lot of humanity and a big heart!

That's the only problem with De Funes: as his movies built my childhood, I confused his real kindness with his characters: in other words, he makes me happy so he inspired me. But as his embodies bad guys, vile boss and hypocritical, I copy that and never have his success. Everybody was taken my words for real!

De Funès should have won an Oscar for this "Oscar"!
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Film Summary
Ali-1410 December 1998
This film originated as a play in Paris. The story focuses on the one-day adventures of Bertrand Barnier played with a genius of French cinema, Louis de Funes. In the same morning he learns that his daughter is pregnant, an employee stole a large amount of money from his company, his maid is about to resign in order to marry a wealthy neighbor and his body builder is interested in marrying his daughter. The seemingly complicated story-line is full of comedy or errors and some of the most hilarious mime scenes of the French cinema. There is never a dull moment in this film.
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French humour at its best!
Wally K5 July 1999
For those who master french perfectly, it's the greatest comedy ever, full of typically french humour, wordplay, double messages and misunderstandings. For those who understand french sufficiently, it's still a riot. For the others, it will be the ultimate proof that french belongs amongst the most non-verbal languages on the face of this earth. MUST SEE! By the way: it was never released on video, but this is going to change rapidly as Gaumont - owner of the rights - has announced its release (VHS & DVD) before the end of 1999!!! So stay tuned and keep in touch with your local video shop...
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In my opinion THE De Funès masterpiece ....
Nicholas Rhodes30 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have just watched this film for the umpteenth time and really thought it was time to submit some comments for it. Before going further, it is necessary to speak and understand French very well indeed to get the full benefit of the comedy. The DVD has been issued with French subtitles which should help any foreign viewer. From beginning to end this film is a RIOT. Never has de Funès been so lively, so vivacious or so expressive, even in Hibernatus or Rabbi Jacob. I will not go into the story itself as it is too complicated to rewrite in this place but suffice it to say there are a number of quiproquo's, misunderstandings, plays on words, plus an interminable exchange of black suitcases all strictly resembling each other but whereas one contains ladies underwear, another contains 60 million francs and yet another a hoard of priceless jewels. The star of the film is without doubt de Funès as the victim of all these hoaxes aided by his unflappable "wife", Claude Gensac. There is also a brilliant performance by Claude Rich and a minor one by Paul Préboist as the butler. The story is a MINE of surprises and unexpected twists and lasts under 90 minutes. Every minute something is happening, something is being discovered and surprises are appearing. Most of the film takes place in De Funès' character's house so I would imagine it was based on a play. I am surprised that De Funès didn't suffer a heart attack while making this, such is the intensity of his performance. Even you, the spectator will be left breathless by the pace of the dialogues and the energy exuded by Louis de Funès. Not to be missed at any cost, especially as it is now available on DVD !
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Should have been granted an... Oscar for the most hilarious comedy ever
guy-bellinger2 April 2015
More shallow than this famous comedy is hard to find. Paradoxically, more hilarious than Edouard Molinaro's "Oscar" is even harder to pick up. I personally favor satire and humor based on human behavior over those mindless restless bedroom farces centered on infidelity and slamming doors. Well, this looks very much like a mindless farce: a restless businessman, a maid who resigns, a brutish masseur, a dishonest right-hand man who bullies his employer, a daughter who happens to be pregnant, a suitcase passing from hand to hand... nothing very profound about that, to be sure! And yet, I couldn't help laughing (and I was not alone, believe me) from the very first to the very last minute. Only one conclusion can be drawn: the comic machinery of the diabolical Magnier-de Funès- Molinaro trio is so well-oiled that this filmed version of " Oscar " (there are five other ones including one starring... Sylvester Stallone!) makes it simply irresistible. A real whirlwind that sweeps through the movie theater and leaves you breathless, not to say wheezing, with Louis de Funès at the top of his art.
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Not only De Funes' funniest film but one of the funniest comedies ever made
haquenin7 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I don't think I've ever seen such a non-stop laugh riot, one crazy thing happening after another. Every time De Funes receives a new shock to his nervous system in this film, he rears up with his upper body and shouts "O", "O", "O" as if he were having a heart attack. One the biggest laughs I had in the film was when De Funes receives yet another shock and he goes running through the house at a full gallop and through the front door. He reappears back through the same front door a couple of minutes later, still at a gallop, as if he had run in a nervous frenzy around his neighborhood. Even if you forget his other great comedic gems like Jo, Rabbi Jacob, La Grande Vadrouille, Le Gendarme En Ballade, Faites Sauter La Banque and others, this film alone I think puts him in the rank of the great comedians of the 20th century: Chaplin, Sellers, the Marx Brothers, Laurel And Hardy, and the Three Stooges.
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JohnHowardReid5 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
An old-fashioned French farce, this movie is nothing if not energetically played, particularly by Louis De Funes. The guy who plays the imbecilic masseur makes a splendid foil. Set for the most part in a stunningly designed interior, the cleverly constructed plot has a intriguingly slow beginning which builds up to some excruciatingly funny scenes – all of them superbly timed by both players and director to bring about the absolute maximum in audience laughter. In fact, there's really too much laughter for comfortable viewing in a cinema where there is no room to roll on the floor. All in all, the director successfully pulls off some really wonderful effects. Production values are outstanding.
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De Funès as the Art and the instrument of his Unique Talent...
ElMaruecan8220 January 2017
A cocky and insolent accountant asks his rich boss, a prosperous real estate promoter, for a generous raise… so he can marry a woman… who happens to be the boss' daughter. That's for the starters, now, it gets tricky, if the boss says 'no', the accountant won't give him back a large sum of money he stole from the company. Well, he didn't steal it technically but he took it out of a technicality. This is crazy already but there's more to come. Little does the accountant know that the girl isn't even his boss' daughter, but he already started the wacky chain of events which, one imbroglio leading to another, made the boss' daughter reveal that she's in love with someone… and pregnant. Does she tell the truth? We suspect it is since the happy father's name is "Oscar" but really, it hardly matters, truth is only a matter of perception… and gags.

"Oscar", based on a long-time running play created by Claude Magnier, belongs to the tradition of French screwball comedy, which means, it doesn't have much of plot and anything that should happen must work as a set-up for laughs. How could the film have a plot anyway? The departure it takes is so complicatedly crazy that even the resolutions that come after are not to be taken for granted, some of them even pave the way to crazier and sometimes needlessly complicated situations and other misunderstandings. This is situation comedy elevated to cinematic format. I don't mean this as a criticism, but as a neutral term because this branch of humor fits this unity of location/ time/ story structure, though it doesn't have the edge or wit of other based-on- plays comedies such as "Santa Claus is a Bastard", "Dinner of Schmucks" or "The First Name".

Yet, this is one of the most successful plays in France with a running record of 13 years (and it was produced again in the 2000's) and the reason why it works so much is because it's not about the situation, but about the reaction of one man to all of them: Bertrand Barnier played by Louis de Funès. Once De Funès took the leading role, he never left it and ended up playing it 600 times, it was maybe the role of his lifetime, and people didn't go to see the play but De Funès play in it. De Funès has always been known for his eccentric tantrums, his mimics à la Donald Duck, his tics and his embodiment of this temporary madness called anger by Romans, well, given all the situations he comes through in "Oscar", the fans had their money's worth. The film is a never-ending series of shouting, grimacing. On that level, it can be seen as the consummate De Funès' movie.

Indeed, while the other actors do justice to their parts, honorable mention to Claude Rich as the son-in-law-to-be, Paul Preboist as the butler and the always delightful Claude Gensac as Barnier's wife, De Funès is the pillar of the film. It might sound as a compliment but it is also the film's Achilles' heel because if you're not a fan or if you get rapidly tired of noises and gesticulations, you'll find the experience a bit exhaustive. This is a significant difference between Molinaro and Oury, Oury made movies where De Funès was part of a duo so that the film could be enjoyable on many other levels. In "Oscar", it's a hit-or-miss, and even fans that love De Funès for sentimental reasons might find the film too noisy. Speaking for myself, I couldn't stand the crying noises of the spoiled little daughter, which were worse than nails on a chalkboard, even as an intended effect, it was horrible. Fortunately, they were not overused.

But there are also some great moments and the best is the one where after being insulted in the phone by a man who's supposedly pimply, De Funès goes into a long rant mocking his big nose and spots on his face, without any words, only body language, a plane flying over a face and bombarding it, a nose so big, it become an elastic object, he pulls it, he even mimics the struggle to pull it, he steps on it, it misses and hits his face, then he pulls it again and blows in it, until his face explodes. This is all done with an invisible form that becomes, in the hand of the master, a prop of his comedic genius, contributing to one of the funniest French comedy moments. At the end, he just lies down and there's a silent moment as if Molinaro gave a little time for the viewers, and for the actor, to catch their breath. This little touch works like a magnificent punch line.

De Funès improvised this moment during the play and each new day, each day inventing a new visual gag, and you could hear the roaring laughter in the audience. Maybe this is what lacks in "Oscar", as the result might feel a bit too stagy but this scene is the culmination of De Funès' talent, one that ended up affecting his health and causing a heart attack in 1975, forcing him to go for quieter roles, different from "Oscar". But "Oscar" is still the best illustration to what made De Funès so great, a unique talent that made Oury say he was like a violin player and the violin himself, De Funès translated the situations into laughs through his acting, but he was also, as a body and a face, the instrument of his own laughs.

To see "Oscar" is to understand what made De Funès one of the best comic actors ever, he could carry alone a whole movie.
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From a perspective of a grown up.
athena2416 March 2014
About 20 years ago I saw the remake with Stallone, and I loved it. Back then I didn't know it was a remake. In fact, I learned about it only recently from reading here the reviews. When I saw the original is with Louis De Funes, I put it on my to see list.

As much as I remember the Stallone version, the plot is quite different but the set-up is the same and both rely on the series of misconceptions to create the funny situations.

I liked it. But I didn't love it. It wasn't a laugh-out-loud comedy for me. It had the fun atmosphere through the movie, and I laughed at times. But the magic, appearing in my memories from the remake and from other movies with Louis De Funes, has gone. And It might be that It's just me that is changed and De Funes' Oscar is as great as his other movies.

It's just that a large portion of the comedy relies on the grimaces and the erratic behavior of De Funes. It made me smile, a lot, but far from laughing.

Good movie, but not the best comedy for me.
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A well--greased laugh machine; Barnier's true daughter in the movie is Marielle's wife in real life
Cristi_Ciopron29 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This form of French comedy has centuries of history, its resorts have been long ago perfected and brought to the optimal condition. In this stage tradition, Oscar, a filmed play, is funny, conventional, zany, bourgeois. It is far better than HIBERNATUS, where the same stock company (Funès, Mme. Gensac and Préboist) is put to use; HIBERNATUS' asset would still be that it gives Mme. Gensac a larger role, which is gratifying to a Mme. Gensac fan as I am.

Bertrand Barnier is Funès' standard character—wealthy, acrid, jumpy, asexual, virtuous bourgeois. He receives, one morning, a young man who is his employed and who requests first a salary raise, then the hand of Barnier's daughter. A roller—coaster of Qui—pro—Quos begins immediately. The young man's mistress is not Barnier's daughter; Barnier's daughter has a lover, who is not this solicitor, and she's not pregnant. These two confusions caused by two lies (the real solicitor of the miss's hand, and the false pregnancy)will roll the comedy.

Colette, Bertrand's daughter, played by the cute Agathe Natanson, is in love with the chauffeur; then she will be passed, by her father whom she lied about being pregnant and who is now pressed to find her quickly a husband, to a clerk and then to a masseur.

Jacqueline 'Barnier' Bouillote, an average blonde played by Sylvia Saurel, is a girl who pretended to be Barnier's daughter.

Bernadette, another blonde, is the spicy _soubrette, played by Dominique Page, and she will marry a baron.

The cast is vintage–Funès, Mme. Gensac, Rich, Préboist, also the three mentioned blonds (--none of them really hot …--); the Funès comedies tended to be flicks with ugly people.

As I said, these are bourgeois, conventional and innocent comedies.

Daddy Funès, the so beloved French actor, made, as it is well—known, a double career ,on stage and on screen, and he translated on screen some of his awesome stage successes—usually conventional, innocent, mild and bourgeois comedies, nothing very original or indecent or libertine, licentious, piquant. Funès himself—and I say this as a person who has ever allowed himself every Funès flick available—was perhaps not a first—rate actor, and his movies were never first—rate either, neither him nor his movies belonged to the premium magnitude class—like Gabin, Fresnay, Jouvet, Simon, Raimu, Belmondo, Trintignant, Depardieu, etc..
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