Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, aka OSS 117, is the French spy considered by his superiors to be the best in the business. The year is 1967 - he's been sent on a mission to Rio de Janeiro, to ... See full summary »
An homage to classic spy films. It's 1955 and after a fellow agent and close friend disappears, secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, a.k.a. OSS 117, is ordered to take his place at the head of a poultry firm in Cairo. This is to be his cover while he is busy investigating, foiling Nazi holdouts, quelling a fundamentalist rebellion, and bedding local beauties. Written by
Scenes of this film were shot in Casablanca, Morocco, at the "Habuse", a tourist area with many shops as well as homes, with small alleyways. The shopkeepers were paid a days projected income to close shop for the day. One homeowner's doorway was to be prominently featured, but the man would not step out of his doorway. He was trying to squeeze more money out of the producers. As a result, the crew built a back-drop made with some 2X4's and a Moroccan rug. About 20 minutes later several conservative Muslims staged a sit-in to try to get money. The filmmakers decided to shoot elsewhere in the city. See more »
When OSS 117 learns to count in Arabic, Larmina coaches him: "Wahed, Jouj...". She should be counting in Egyptian Arabic, but instead she uses Moroccan Arabic. An Egyptian would not use (or understand) "Jouj" for two. The word is "Itnayn". See more »
It's difficult to define why one film touches or connects with you or not, and I won't try to analyze such perfect comedy, so politically incorrect that even academic papers should be dedicated to it :)!
Everything is old fashioned here, from women's clothes (sigh!), Mambo dance, the "hero singing"... ("Bambino" sounds like an Italian canzonetta sung in... arabic :)!).
Hubert is physically imposing, but dumb as hell. From all the 007s, he looks like Sean Connery, but is definitely more sympa because he's... silly, speaks his mind all the time, giggles, even has some homoerotic fantasies and there are rumours about him. In short, as an anti hero, he rocks :)! Sometimes he only raises his eyebrows or frowns, and that's all it takes to make you laugh.
Bérénice Bejo is the true queen of the film. Graceful, treacherous but with ideals. Aure Atika, to the contrary, is reduced to a femme fatale of sorts. It's surprising to see her that "sexy bomb", thou.
You just can't compare it with "Austin Powers"! I agree with Amazon's D. Hartley (Seattle, WA) on it being respectful to the genre.
Which is your favourite scene? One of my favourite scenes is the "fight of the chickens" with the masked villain. But the truly perfect one is when chatting at the cocktail with his contacts, how they all mutter platitudes with confidence... This scene alone makes the comedy genre worthwhile.
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