7.3/10
5,475
23 user 19 critic

The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1972)

Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire (original title)
A hapless orchestra player becomes an unwitting pawn of rival factions within the French secret service after he is chosen as a decoy by being identified as a super secret agent.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Christine
Colette Castel ...
Jean Obé ...
Botrel
Robert Castel ...
Georghiu
Jean Saudray ...
Poucet
Roger Caccia ...
M. Boudart
...
Chaperon
...
Le faux livreur
Arlette Balkis
Tania Balachova
Paul Le Person ...
...
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Storyline

Two factions of the French Secret Service involve a seemingly normal orchestra player, Francois Perrin, into their battle as one side uses him as a decoy. Soon, agents are all over the place, and one of them, Christine, is sent to seduce Francois. Meanwhile, Francois has his own problems, tangled up in an affair with his best friend's wife. Written by Kumar

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

goodbye blues, hello laughter See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 August 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Francis Veber used to call most of his characters with names based on famous cities (Toulouse, Milan, Perrache etc.) in order to avoid any confusion with real life persons. See more »

Quotes

Perrache: [reporting to Colonel Toulouse] There are three victims, sir... two of Milan's men and Chaperon.
Le colonel Louis Marie Alphonse Toulouse: [looks up sharply] I beg your pardon?
Perrache: Yes, sir, I'm afraid there was shooting. But you needn't worry... the Tall Blond is quite safe.
Le colonel Louis Marie Alphonse Toulouse: [pause, then slowly leans back in his chair] I thought I told you to call off Poucet and... Chaperon.
Perrache: [pretending surprise] Oh, really? Well, I guess I misunderstood. I told them to tighten up their surveillance.
Le colonel Louis Marie Alphonse Toulouse: [coldly] You *did* misunderstand me, I fear.
Perrache: I'm sorry, sir.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are shown on different playing cards. They 'magically' change when a magician's hand flips, turns, and waves his hands over the cards. See more »

Connections

Referenced in La saga Pignon (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Grand Blond (Final)
Written by Vladimir Cosma
Panpipe performed by Gheorghe Zamfir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
To make disparaging comparisons between this and the Hollywood remake would seem obvious
24 September 2006 | by (Berlin - Germany) – See all my reviews

But there's a reason why "obvious" gets to be so... well obvious.

Despite the fact that the print I saw of this had colour so mucky I would've been better off watching on a black and white TV set and that it was the dubbed version and not the original French version it is still better by far than the Hollywood remake in the 1980s.

First off the director of this has a sense of timing which goes a long way. Scenes like the opening interrogation using a lie detector move fast and with a Spartan minimum of activity.

More importantly is the fantastic art direction and the score by Zamfir (master of the pan flute). The hero's apartment could've easily graced the pages of Progressive Architecture. Especially his bathroom - no really. Only 'The Prisoner' made better use of art direction.

Even the dubbed dialog retains a level of precision with lines like "I didn't see you behind me" "Ah, but I'm already ahead of you...". They could've gotten a better voice-over for Maurice, but at least the sound effect for the guns was an inspired choice.

Some things like the bagpipe-as-a-snake scene don't work so well (at least outside of France) but they're a minor annoyance. Most of the comedy set pieces are inspired genius worthy of Chaplin, Keaton or (Harold) Lloyd.

By all means see this movie - and make sure to see it before you subject yourself to the American remake.


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