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Le cantinier de la coloniale (1937)

Piéchu,an old Marine Corps soldier, ends his military career as a canteen attendant in barracks somewhere in the provinces. One day, he learns that he inherits a huge fortune. But, as they say, money does not make happiness.

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(dialogue), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Bach ...
Piéchu
...
Le capitaine
Thérèse Dorny ...
Madame Piéchu
Léopold Simons ...
(as Simons)
Line Dariel ...
Zulma
Rellys
Tichadel
Yvette Lebon ...
Lucie
Pierre Magnier
Georges Prieur ...
Pierre Feuillère
Georges Tréville
Marguerite Templey ...
La marquise
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Storyline

Piéchu,an old Marine Corps soldier, ends his military career as a canteen attendant in barracks somewhere in the provinces. One day, he learns that he inherits a huge fortune. But, as they say, money does not make happiness.

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Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

9 July 1937 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Un de la coloniale  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Mon Oncle D'Amérique
3 July 2016 | by See all my reviews

A pleasant little comedy which blends Comique Troupier (coarse comedy)with the French myth of the "Oncle D'Amérique",this imaginary character who epitomizes the French dream : to become a millionaire ,thanks to the death of this wealthy "Scrooge MacDuck" from the New World .

Most of the action takes place in the barracks ,and we are not spared the usual clichés :grumpy officers,latrine duty and other joys of military life;but they are kept to the minimum and the screenwriters do not rehash a genre that was popular in the first half in the French thirties (Fernandel ,the usual suspect,is absent here):our hero is the canteen man of the regiment ;with his bossy missus,as infuriating as his military superiors,he reigns ,so to speak ,over the squaddies' grub.

One fine day,opportunity knocks: his brother hast just died;would you believe it,he made a fortune in America ,and our canteen man is the sole legatee: 100 million bucks!

Overnight,his life (and his wife's ) change:not only his mates tell him stories to make his heart bleed to get some dough,but two aristocrats,a marquis and an earl,short of the readies,want the canteen man's daughter, a wise girl in love with a deserving young lawyer doing his military service,to become their daughter-in-law ,and to latch on to the girl's dowry.

A familiar subject in the first half of last century's French cinema ,(see also "Le Bal" "Les Affaires Sont Les Affaires" ),we see two crude people try to become part of chic people and imitate them;but the Nouveau Riche can't get used to caviar Canapés ,he prefers sausage sandwiches and the daughter is not fooled by the snub noble dandy who asks her why she wants to study to become a lawyer ("to defend the poor")and not to marry and become a good mother .

All in all,when the new millionaire is harassed by sycophants and parasites everywhere he goes , his daughter's young squeeze keeps a cool head. When the jealous officers throw both of them into prison (where you can smoke and dream champagne ),the young one proves to his love's dad that,as anybody past infancy should know,money cannot buy happiness.

Not a masterpiece ,by a long shot,at a time French cinema had perhaps never been better,but a splendid time is guaranteed for fans of old-fashioned comedies


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