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Christian de Chalonge
A lot of people regard this film as being run of the mill and stereotypical. I tend to disagree. What happened was that Labro directed a very classical dark series 40s film with scerwball elements in early 80s France. So needless to say that he uses motives from the dark series as opposed to stereotypes. Martin Griffon is very much a dark series hero but particularly in the original French version he is also very Gallic (up to the point of caricature), a slob who coughs up phlegm. Essentially he is Columbo on acid which works and is very funny. The film itself is complex, full of deceit and corruption but not as confuse as classic dark series films. I actually find the story fast paced and original and the characters are intriguing and played by excellent actors. Gabrielle Lazure's character adds a touch of screwball comedy and Dayle Haddon as love sick dominatrix is excellent. So the film works on many levels: it's full of suspense, romantic (in the meaning of having a knight looking for his holy grail: the truth), funny, elegant (particularly the dialog)and well acted. There is Brasseur, born to play the hard nosed copper, the gorgeous Gabrielle Lazure, legends Jean Claude Braily & Jean Louis Tritingnat and the unfortunately underrated Dayle Haddon, who used to be a Disney actress until she decided to strip off for Playboy in the 70s. The also has a terrific soundtrack. And watch out for the character called Inspector Gomez- this actor must have played a cop in every French film I have ever seen. Sadly director Labro never had the impact in the film industry he should have had which was largely due to the fact that he went into management and later suffered from depression which rendered him unable to work for a long time.
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