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Thanks to other reviewers on IMDb. I picked up this pleasant surprise. The opening musical had me worried a little. But soon the clever plot revealed itself. This movie is witty and funny, several steps above a lot of Hollywood movies in the same genre today. It still looks incredibly fresh today.
The flashback is so seamlessly inserted that I watched the movie again just to find out exactly where it begins. There are moments that make you smile or laugh out loud: the movie-in-movie poking fun at the genre, the mentioning of LeLouch's another film "un home et une femme", the kidnapping plot, the little details about the characters,etc. LeLouch's direction is fluid and stylish. The naturalistic acting is great and spot-on from the top down. I didn't know that Trintignant could be funny!!! In this movie, he is charismatic, charming, and ruthless all at once and never once goes over the top or shows any movie star self-awareness we usually see today.
This is a fantastic movie that can be watched again and again.
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