Several ordinary Frenchmen go on an epic voyage through the occupied country to the free zone as they help British pilots avoid Nazi captivity.


Gérard Oury


Gérard Oury (scenario), Georges Tabet (dialogue) | 3 more credits »
2 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bourvil ... Augustin Bouvet
Louis de Funès ... Stanislas Lefort
Claudio Brook ... Peter Cunningham
Andréa Parisy ... Soeur Marie-Odile / Sister Marie-Odile
Colette Brosset Colette Brosset ... Germaine
Mike Marshall Mike Marshall ... Alan MacIntosh
Mary Marquet ... Mère Supérieure
Pierre Bertin Pierre Bertin ... Le grand-père de Juliette - propriétaire du guignol
Benno Sterzenbach ... Major Achbach
Marie Dubois ... Juliette
Terry-Thomas ... Sir Reginald
Sieghardt Rupp ... Lt. Stuermer
Reinhard Kolldehoff ... Un caporal allemand
Helmuth Schneider ... L'officier allemand dans le train (as Helmut Schneider)
Paul Préboist ... Le pêcheur


A RAF Bomber is shot down over Paris by the Germans. Its crew land there by parachute. With the help of some French civilians they try to escape over the demarcation line into the southern part of France, still not occupied by the Germans. Written by Gerard Bader <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The war's most impossible escape story - becomes the year's funniest comedy! See more »


Adventure | Comedy | War


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Held the attendance record in France for 42 years (17 million people saw it when the population of the country was 50 million). See more »


The RAF bomber Terry-Thomas and crew are flying is mostly a B-17 Flying Fortress. This is highly unlikely, as the RAF mainly flew Lancasters, Halifaxes and, earlier on, Stirlings. See more »


Sir Reginald: Get in!
Stanislas LeFort: Qu'est-ce qu'il dit?
Augustin Bouvet: Il dit: "Get in!"
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original German release had several parts of the French original cut. Some of them might have been taken out because some gags could not be used because of the different languages used in the original (French, German and English). There is for example the quite funny scene when Claudio Brook reveals himself as an English man on the train when he says "I'm sorry" when spilling some vine. The German version instead just shows the angry German officer who commands to arrest the English soldier. Some parts are cut without any obvious reason - e.g. a humorous dialogue of de Funés and Bourvil, their escape and chase in German uniforms. The German version just comes into the scene when they are already arrested. See more »


Featured in Roma (2018) See more »


Rakoczy March
Music by Hector Berlioz
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User Reviews

Intense delight
31 December 2005 | by raymond-massartSee all my reviews

This movie certainly belongs to one of the best comedies French cinema has ever produced.It has that rare quality of entertaining the viewer over and over again although it has been around for years. It is also probably Louis de Funès' most witty performance ever, mainly due to the fact that he reduced his frequently exaggerated ( and often irritating) facial expressions and babbling away to an acceptable level.Bourvil was always and remains, even today, an icon of the French cinema.As a team, de Funès and Bourvil form an "odd couple" that really works and their constant bickering is often hilarious. A lot of fun is made of the Germans and British but this is always done with a tongue-in-cheek approach and the whole movie bristles with a "joie de vivre" that leaves the viewer with a feeling of intense delight.

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France | UK


French | English | German

Release Date:

8 December 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

La Grande Vadrouille See more »


Box Office


FRF15,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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