5 user 2 critic

The French, They Are a Funny Race (1955)

Les carnets du Major Thompson (original title)
Major Thompson, an Englishman living in France, comments in his memoirs on the peculiarities of his French wife and friends.


Preston Sturges


Pierre Daninos (book), Preston Sturges




Complete credited cast:
Jack Buchanan ... Le Major Marmaduke Thompson
Martine Carol ... Martine Thompson
Noël-Noël ... Monsieur Taupin
Totti Truman Taylor ... Miss Fyfyth
Katie Boyle ... Bit part (as Catherine Boyle)
André Luguet ... L'éditeur Fusillard
Geneviève Brunet Geneviève Brunet ... Ursula Thompson - la première femme du Major
Paulette Dubost ... Madame Taupin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Balpo Robert Balpo
Madeleine Barbulée Madeleine Barbulée ... La femme de chambre
Charles Bayard Charles Bayard
Marguerite Bour Marguerite Bour
François de Breteuil François de Breteuil ... Marc
Henri Coutet Henri Coutet
Lucien Frégis Lucien Frégis


Major Thompson, an Englishman living in France, comments in his memoirs on the peculiarities of his French wife and friends.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His English wife was a distinguished horsewoman. His French wife distinguished herself in other fields. See more »




See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Original literary source: "Les carnets du Major Thompson. Découverte de la France et des Français", novel by Pierre Daninos, illustrated by Walter Goetz, published by Hachette, Paris, 1954, 244 pages. See more »


Referenced in James Harvey on Preston Sturges (2014) See more »

User Reviews

A touch of nostalgia
29 August 2016 | by LKazanSee all my reviews

"Les Carnets du Major Thompson" literally translating as "Major Thompson's Medals", or "Trophies"? How wrong! "Carnets" actually translate as "Major Thompson's Notebook" in English. Which explains that the book – and the film – be a sum of sequences of subtle humour, with the constant opposition of delightful Martine Carol as a sparkling Parisian woman, and her "so British" punctilious husband – yet a lovable character, Jack Buchanan… His series of notes depicting behavioural differences on each side of the Channel, focusing with pleasure on timeless traits of the French, such as the "moaner" side. To me, the book and the film were very much on line with George Mikes' notes at the time, such as "How to be Inimitable", "How to be an Alien", and so forth... With the re-editing of a number of Pierre Daninos' books, including "Les Carnets", I also would welcome a DVD version revival of Preston Sturges'film, with quite a touch of nostalgia.

Incidentally, the author Pierre Daninos was the brother of a French classy sports car manufacturer, the prestigious Facel Vega.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





French | English

Release Date:

9 December 1955 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The French, They Are a Funny Race See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed