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The Big Scare (1964)

La grande frousse (original title)
Two police inspectors Triquet and Vergus launch their investigations to arrest a dangerous escaped forger named Mickey Le Bénedictin.


Jean-Pierre Mocky


Jean Ray (based upon the novel "La cité de l'indicible peur" by), Jean-Pierre Mocky (adaptation) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bourvil ... Inspecteur Simon Triquet
Jean-Louis Barrault ... Douve
Francis Blanche ... Franqui
Victor Francen ... Docteur Chabert
Jean Poiret ... Loupiac, un gendarme
Raymond Rouleau ... Chabriant, le maire
Jacques Dufilho ... Gosseran
René-Louis Lafforgue ... Le boucher
Roger Legris ... M. Paul, le pharmacien
Fred Pasquali Fred Pasquali ... L'oncle de Simon Triquet (as Pasquali)
Véronique Nordey Véronique Nordey ... Livina
Marcel Pérès Marcel Pérès ... Inspecteur Virgus
Lisette Lebon Lisette Lebon ... Une employée au bordel
Jenny Orléans Jenny Orléans ... Madame Gosseran
Maria-Rosa Rodriguez Maria-Rosa Rodriguez ... Gilda


Two police inspectors Triquet and Vergus launch their investigations to arrest a dangerous escaped forger named Mickey Le Bénedictin.

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Alternate Versions

The movie was originally released as 'La Grande Frousse' in 1964. The title had been imposed by the producers. In 1972, director Jean-Pierre Mocky managed to buy the rights to the movie and released a longer cut under the title 'La Cité de l'indicible peur'. This cut was supposedly wished by original star Bourvil. It adds ten minutes of scenes between supporting characters. The 2005 DVD edition features the original opening prologue as a deleted scene. Mocky claims he was pressured by the producers to shoot this prologue. See more »

User Reviews

Imaginative and hilarious
9 April 2005 | by El BachoSee all my reviews

In the 60's, director Jean-Pierre Mocky shot several wonderful movies before his inspiration decreased in the 80's and 90's, leading him to cheaper and cheaper productions (in spite of a recent surge). In "La Cité de l'indicible peur", he's at the top of his game, with this very subversive production. French comedian Bourvil is a police inspector who trails a counterfeiter and spends several days in a small rural town, where you'll find one policeman, one butcher, one doctor, one chemist, and so on. And, supposedly, one bald, hard-drinking, cold-sensitive, cassoulet hating, murdering counterfeiter.

Needless to say, this investigation turns out to be a McGuffin or a red herring to a string of strange events in the town of Barges (also French for "loonies"). A killing beast roams at night, mannequins of the local saint lower hatchets and half printed banknotes go with the wind. Bourvil is perfectly cast as a good-willing and clueless investigator and the supporting characters are at least as interesting as his. What makes the movie works is that Mocky always manages to draw a thin line between iron-fisted anarchy and empathy towards his characters. At the beginning of the movie, Bourvil is put in charge of the investigation by a chief who turns out to be his own uncle, an apparently authoritative figure. At the end of the scene, when he's alone, you notice that the uncle is actually a diminutive man who climbs on a stool to look more impressive. This is the kind of slight touches that fill the entire movie.

One close relative to "La Cité de l'indicible peur" would be the "Twin Peaks" TV show. Actually, the movie forecasts the mood of "Twin Peaks" with a much lighter tone.

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Release Date:

28 October 1964 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Scare See more »

Company Credits

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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