Sickened to see his students always sleeping in class, a teacher with a colleague and an anarchist start a war against the television. They climbed on Paris roofs to coat the T.V. antennas ... 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 ... See full summary »
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,
Hector Valentin (Bourvil) returns to France from Canada when he inherits a small sawmill. He has difficulties restarting the run-down operation which has inefficient workers and is hampered... See full synopsis »
Amanda Weber is a museum employee. Her nephew, Victorien, who feels that wild animals should not be kept in zoos, has been murdered, and she seeks to find out why and how. She knows that ... See full summary »
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 »
Cruchot's police office moves into a new building. They do not only get high tech equipment, but also four young female police officers to educate. All of them scramble to work with them --... See full summary »
Louis de Funès,
Sickened to see his students always sleeping in class, a teacher with a colleague and an anarchist start a war against the television. They climbed on Paris roofs to coat the T.V. antennas with a special product cutting the signal reception. Written by
Jean-Marie Berthiaume <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bourvil was known (and loved!) for his talents as a comic actor, playing often roles of gentle and naive characters. But he was much more than that as he was also capable of more dramatic or serious roles (check for instance "L"arbre de Noël", "Les misérables", "Fortunat" and of course "Le cercle rouge"). And what he did with director Jean-Pierre Mocky in "Un drôle de paroissien", "La grande lessive" and "L'étalon" was simply, hem, different.
Starting out as an actor, Jean-Pierre Mocky soon began to direct his own movies. By 1962, he had defined his style: personal, provocative, sometimes desultory, sometimes going too far past the limits of bad taste. Among his best films stands "La grande lessive", released in 1968 (not a coincidence) when France was shaken up by various social movements.
This comedy is about Armand Saint-Just (Bourvil), a high school teacher who plans a vendetta against television. An eccentric inventor has produced an aerosol spray that when applied effectively renders television antennae useless. With the help of a sport teacher who scales heights to apply the spray to the receivers, Saint-Just's goal is to keep his pupils from being polluted by a senseless medium (in his eyes). Soon the TV network executives launch an all-out search for the perpetrators as television revenues plummet. The police is soon called in to solve the mystery as Saint-Just and his crew slowly move towards their ultimate goal (the Eiffel tower, where the biggest antenna is)...
All right, this caricature against the power of television has aged a little bit. And yes, Mocky has almost always botched his work. However, movies like this one contain enjoyable moments as most of the actors deliver really funny performances. Bourvil was amazing in Mocky's movies, but here it is definitively Francis Blanche who has the craziest part of them all (if you think that Francis Blanche in drag may just look like a nightmare... you're just quite right!). Having said that, this movie lacks typically of a real script with a well-written ending. Nevertheless, its corrosive content still leaves a rather strong impression. Too bad that the cinematography has not the same strength!
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