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French comedy about a very greedy millionaire who is trying to smuggle
a large amount of goldbars (hence the title 'Lust for Gold') out of
France and into tax haven Switzerland, with his mom as his partner in
crime but with his ex-wife and her boyfriend in hot pursuit.
One of Oury's better efforts of the latter stage of his career, it has a quite frenetic pace, only matched by Christian Clavier over-the-top interpretation. Loaded with slapstick and some spectacular car crashes this is really very entertaining and is an excellent time-passer, so even if you are not French you will enjoy it.
Gerard Oury was (and probably will remain) France's most successful director with immense popular triumphs as " La Grande Vadrouille," The Brain" and 'Rabbi Jacob' to his name. His later efforts though, left something to be desired but "La Soif de l'Or'" proves to be one of his better ones, especially taking into account he was already 74 years of age when he made this.
Christian Clavier went on to star in super hits "The visitors", the prestigious TV-series "Napoleon", the Asterix & Obelix-series, up until the recent box-office smash (in France anyway)'Les Bronzés 3' and remains one of France's popular (and highest-paid) actors.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Possible Spoilers.... This is the Urbain Donnadieu's story (Christian Clavier), a greedy and miserly businessman. He was brought up by his grand-mother: "Zézette" (Tsilla Chelton) and he married a tax inspector (Catherine Jacob) so as to avoid a tax adjustment. More important: he must take away 1000 gold ingots in Switzerland and for this, he hides them in a show-house.... You can guess it: it's not easy because Donnadieu's got to face unexpected events like his wife who'd love to appropriate the loot with her lover. Consequently: a mad chase starts. Gérard Oury didn't made a masterpiece, neither he made a really bad movie, it's just average and we are far from the "Grande Vadrouille"'s success. The movie's rhythm is lively and there aren't any injury times. Moreover, gags are numerous and excellent even if some of them are a bit huge and unlikely. I think about the crash between Clavier's truck and his girlfriend's car. The movie doesn't work very well due to the screenplay. Indeed, it's laboured, sometimes clumsy and it doesn't avoid the clichés of the miserliness. For example at the end, when the count's car, after an accident disappears in one of the Swiss lakes, it means that the gold is at the bottom of the lake. So guess, what Donnadieu and his grandmother are going to do........ The movie especially suffers from the choice of the actors. Clavier is quite convincing in his role of miserly businessman. This doesn't stop him from haming it up and sometimes he's a bit hesitant in his performance. The other actors aren't better. They're often left to themselves. Nevertheless, as the film is a road-movie in a big part, it enables to admire the beauty of the French landscapes. It's a little detail and it isn't sufficient enough to save the film. Oury was 76 years old when he made it. He'd better have a well-deserved rest.
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