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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was very impressed with the enduring humour of this film. I watched
it in French in which I am not fluent but I still found this film very
funny. The phrase 'J'ai glisse, chef' has entered my everyday
vocabulary The film follows three hapless soldiers of the French army,
who are cut off from the main body of their company by the invading
Germans. Through incompetence, laziness and general uselessness they
somehow manage to ride to glory and rescue their company.
Despite being thirty years old this film is still delightfully amusing. The French scenery is breathtaking, the characters lovable and the jokes simple enough for even someone who cannot totally understand French to comprehend. It reminded me very much of 'Dad's Army', it's a lighthearted romp through a potentially dangerous subject.
It is not a cinematic masterpiece. The characters are stereotypical idiots, bumbling around falling in rivers, losing their shoes. It is not a deep movie. The plot doesn't really make a lot of sense, and the direction is not memorable. But it was never aiming to be any of these things.
I would class this as a Sunday afternoon film, it's not serious and it's perfect to watch lazily on the sofa with a beer in your hand as Sunday lunch goes down.
Most French films about war with German army portray it as an army full of stupid soldiers without any intelligence who are not attentive enough to catch French soldiers. French film "Mais où est donc passée la 7ème compagnie » is also a fine example of this tendency. The adventures of the seventh company of French army are extremely hilarious. They are always able to bring immense amount of laughter. One adventure is about how the seventh company manages to escape unhurt when the dead bodies of two German soldiers are lost due to sheer negligence. In a comic yet sensitive member viewers get to observe how some French people deal with less patriotic French folks during times of war. For this section, an ordinary grocer with considerable traces of treachery is taught a good lesson. Gaumont film production company is one of French cinema's most famous film studios. It was due to its strong backing that French director Robert Lamoureux was able to make three comedy films about war. French cinema's leading comic actors Jean Lefebvre and Pierre Mondy have starred in all three films. This three part film series began with the making of "Now Where Did the Seventh Company Get to ?" The most unique thing about this film is that it reveals the comical aspects of second world war.
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