When NATO transfers some of its funds from Paris to Brussels by train, a criminal mastermind posing as a British colonel plans to steal it but two petty French thieves also have the same intent.


Gérard Oury


Gérard Oury (a film by), Gérard Oury (scenario adaptation) | 5 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Paul Belmondo ... Arthur Lespinasse
Bourvil ... Anatole
David Niven ... Colonel Carol Matthews
Eli Wallach ... Frankie Scannapieco
Silvia Monti ... Sofia
Raymond Gérôme Raymond Gérôme ... Le commissaire bègue
Jacques Balutin Jacques Balutin ... L'inspecteur Pochet
Henri Attal Henri Attal ... Un homme de la bande
Yves Barsacq ... Un gardien de prison
Jacques Ciron Jacques Ciron ... L'inspecteur Duboeuf
Robert Dalban ... Le policier militaire belge enrhumé
Mario David ... Jean-François - un antiquaire
Raoul Delfosse Raoul Delfosse ... Un policier militaire belge
Tommy Duggan Tommy Duggan ... Le superintendant Cummings
Henri Génès ... Le gardien-chef de la prison de Poissy


Arthur and Anatole are two little robbers. They want to rob money, money that will travel in a special train from Paris to Bruxelles. They don't know that other people have planned to do the same thing. Written by Jean-Yves Simon <simon@wotangate.micro.ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"The Brain" is Rocking the World with Laughter! See more »


G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film has been shot in two languages (French and English) with the same cast. See more »


In an early segment, a TV news update announces a big clue about the crook known as The Brain. He has a very large cerebrum and under stress or anxiety, his neck can't support his head. So, his head drops to one side (left or right). The next scene shows Col. Matthews with his head dropping to the side. He is then identified and flees in a police chase. He holds his head upright with his hand until he gets into his limo and escapes. But he never has another instance in which his head drops in the film. Not even in several scenes that would be highly stressful to any human being - i.e., when his apartment is all but destroyed, or when he's stuffed in a box, or when he's being chased and shot at. See more »


Frankie Scannapieco: [to Sofia] I gave my word to mother and father that I would keep you as pure as gold. That's why I didn't take you to America.
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Alternate Versions

The alternate English version runs 95 minutes (20 less than the French version). See more »


Referenced in Particka: Episode #3.10 (2012) See more »


Performed by Georges Delerue Et Son Orchestre
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User Reviews

One of the all-time-good-to-see-again-and-again films
28 February 2000 | by PicobelloSee all my reviews

One of my all-time favorites. Everything is in it: a very good story where everything matches, the best of comedy actors of that time (French and international), the music which is typical for the swinging sixties (The American Breed). Unfortunately, there was never a second film as far as I know, although the end of the first film would have been a good start for a follow-up film.

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France | Italy


French | English | German

Release Date:

13 November 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Brain See more »


Box Office


$3,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (alternate)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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