1 user 2 critic

The Big Operator (1976)

Le grand escogriffe (original title)



(screen adaptation), (screen adaptation) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After the recently re-elected President of a fictitious state has been assassinated, one of the members of the investigation committee refuses to sign the final report and is given the task... See full summary »

Director: Henri Verneuil
Stars: Yves Montand, Michel Albertini, Roland Amstutz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Philippe Labro
Stars: Yves Montand, Katharine Ross, Antonio Casagrande
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three friends face mid-life crises. Paul is a writer who's blocked. François has lost his ideals and practices medicine for the money; his wife grows distant, even hostile. The charming ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Sautet
Stars: Yves Montand, Michel Piccoli, Serge Reggiani
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A pseudo-documentary on the life of Yves Montand, who plays himself, in this tribute to his long career. During a musical tour, Montand returns to Marseille and revisits the many highlights... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Demy
Stars: Yves Montand, Mathilda May, Patrick Fierry
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An inspector is having a secret relationship with a woman. When she is murdered by his boss, all proof is against him.

Director: Alain Corneau
Stars: Yves Montand, François Périer, Simone Signoret
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two men break out of prison; a rival gang ambushes them. One is mortally wounded and tells the other, Mickey, to take him to the estate of a retired robber, Noel, who lives in comfort with ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Corneau
Stars: Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The story of an exiled Spanish revolutionary, now a successful screenwriter, dangerously drawn back to his homeland and the "good fight" for freedom from fascism.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Yves Montand, Miou-Miou, Laurent Malet
Womanlight (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Reciprocal consolation. The background of two middle-aged people (Michel and Lydia) is gradually unfolded. Michel's wife is incurably ill. They had agreed that she would take her life on ... See full summary »

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Yves Montand, Romy Schneider, Romolo Valli
Le fils (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Ange leaves New York to fly to his native Corsica. His mother is dying and Ange, who was not present when his father died, wishes to be present at her death. In Corsica Ange finds his ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Granier-Deferre
Stars: Yves Montand, Lea Massari, Marcel Bozzuffi
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Yves Montand, Renato Salvatori, O.E. Hasse
Tout va bien (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Godard examines the structure of movies, relationships and revolutions through the life of a couple in Paris.

Directors: Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin
Stars: Yves Montand, Jane Fonda, Vittorio Caprioli
Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Don Salluste, a petty tyrant in his own home and minister of the King of Spain, falls from grace. Wanting revenge, he tries to compromize the Queen with his valet Blaze, introduced as his ... See full summary »

Director: Gérard Oury
Stars: Louis de Funès, Yves Montand, Alice Sapritch


Cast overview, first billed only:
Aldo Maccione ...
The Widow
Guy Marchand ...
Ely Galleani ...
Gianni Cavina ...
Jole Silvani ...
Tony's Mother
Brizio Montinaro ...
Patricia Damsey ...
2nd Children's nurse
Mirko Lacobacci-Puntor ...
Gianluca Cantarini ...
Giovanna Sanfilippo ...
Donna Chioso (as Giovanna San Filippo-Puntor)


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis




See all certifications »





| |

Release Date:

1 December 1976 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ein großer und ein kleiner Gauner  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


References Pinocchio (1940) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Montand's career in the '70s comedies
8 November 2006 | by (CGSM,Soseaua Nationala 49) – See all my reviews

In the French comedy of the '70s,Montand was a salutary alternative to the more "popular" comic of Richard or Funes.The way he does " Morland ",Montand is irresistible in LE GRAND...;he has a gentlemanly and exuberant flair as a looser rogue,and this does define of the faces of Montand in the '70s.His success in LE GRAND ... is that he makes this role to define him as an actor of comedy (to define him in an aesthetic order,if not in the public's consciousness,I don't have the least idea whether LE GRAND ... has been successful or not or to what extent it has been so).

Here,Montand looks like an agile,fascinating,rangy and biting variety star.His performance is in ideal osmosis with the other actors.He is a veteran cheat that gathers a little band of Desoeuvres;his efforts to convince his two associates are deplorable,the man resorts to anything,and prevails on them using his illness and heart condition.Montand is Prinking,resists the assaults of an oldish woman,prates,while realizing his plan:to kidnap a mogul's baby and ask for a ransom. As a cheat,Montand proves to be particularly uninspired and unlucky(the movie begins with a terrorized Claude Brasseur that reminds resentfully the resilient Montand about his previous stupid ideas and failures).The 3 partners rent a baby in order to substitute him with the one they plan to kidnap.The kidnapping goes well,if one may say so,and the crestfallen partners must take care of a noisy and disagreeable baby.The movie's main idea reminds of an O. Henry story,that I first met as a comic strip,then as a text:the one with two rascals that kidnap a boy,then pay his father to take the kid back.

Some fine things in this movie:in the beginning,Montand,with a malicious,felonious and diabolical air,following his past and future victim,the associate of his ingenious plans:Claude Brasseur.Montand,feigning aggravations of his disease,to keep his band of kidnappers together.Montand's intelligence,sense of the show, perspicacity are those who make him credible in comedies,somehow against his persona as seen in so many Gavras,Corneau,Clouzot,Delvaux movies. Montand's comic roles are computed,by a man who has the stage's routine:a stager's compositions.(Montand has not that comic content that Brando, Newman,Mastroianni,Belmondo display when doing comedies;instead,he makes the most of his scenic knowledge,making out theatric roles.)His performance in LE GRAND ... is accompanied with laughters.His procedure was effectual:I hailed with laughters his best scenes in LE GRAND....His gags are pleasing,and his highly theatrical, unsubtle, mechanical, clownish comic manages to amuse.This comic is not so much stylized,as it is set up.When a glacial gentleman with an wolfish air makes comedy,the result is a bit strange.On the other hand,Montand was Gabin's successor,and a role like that from LA MENACE is a purely Gabinian one,and many of his defining roles were of a decidedly Gabinian substance.(On another level,Marais was a better comic than Gabin,and Belmondo was the best French comic ever.Speaking of Gabin,he is another case of comic without content,in the sense that he does not have a comic content of his own to express,but follows the character,while Belmondo has a comic texture to express.)Montand's comic is quite mechanical because of his intellectuality.

Agostina Belli is fine as a young temptress,and Adolfo Celi makes a sardonic mogul.In a supporting part,Valentina Cortese is picturesque.

Constantin Popescu,in CUPLURI CELEBRE ..., remarked Montand's career in the '70s French comedy (as one of the several,as one of the in fact many genres that he practiced in that era),and noticed LE GRAND ... as one of the best three Montand comedies of the decade!

The first Montand movies I remember seeing were UN SOIR,UN TRAIN and I COMME ICAR (both in '90;I COMME ICAR is his only show I saw in a movie theater),then LE SALAIRE ...,then LA FOLIE DES ....LA MENACE impressed me much.I think that maybe I saw UN SOIR ... twice,and I remember the story that the film adapted circulated in an anthology.

As such,LE GRAND ... is more of a movie for buffs than for "professional critics",as the buffs enjoy movies,with sincerity and openness,while "professional critics" are entirely occupied with their prestige and their whims.Professionalism and routine and prestige and narcissism and the stupid jargon don't go with intimacy and affectionate objectivity.I do not know one "great critic" that has the "buff quality",the "buff openness and sympathy",the buff gist,that is a higher objectivity.(Writers like Truffaut and Larcher,Cosasu and Mrs. Mihailescu,are firstly movie buffs.)I have seen user comments (about It Happened to Jane ,1959;Fréquence Meurtre ,1988;Vertigo ,1958;Rear Window ,1954;1900 ,1976;Storie Di Ordinaria Follia ,1981;Ciao Maschio ,1978;Strangers on a Train ,1951;O Thiassos ,1975;Life of Brian ,1979;Topio Stin Omichli ,1988;Outcast of the Islands ,1952;Colossus: The Forbin Project ,1970;Vidocq ,2001;A Kiss Before Dying ,1956;Open Range ,2003;Exorcist II: The Heretic ,1977;etc.,etc.) so fine,so charming,so affectionate and well-knit that a professional critic would never write.In a professional critic's mind,men go to see westerns because they're out for "myths";not at all.Men are out for adventure.And so on. For the connoisseurs,some '70s French comedies will always mean what several XVIIIth. century French comedies are to a few admirers.It is so easy to disparage them-and also so inappropriate,churlish and inept.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Big Operator (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: