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The Mad Adventures of 'Rabbi' Jacob (1973)

Les aventures de Rabbi Jacob (original title)
A bigoted Frenchman finds himself forced to impersonate a popular rabbi while on the run from a group of assassins - and the police.

Director:

Gérard Oury

Writers:

Gérard Oury (screenplay), Danièle Thompson (screenplay) | 8 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis de Funès ... Victor Pivert
Suzy Delair ... Germaine Pivert
Marcel Dalio ... Rabbi Jacob (as Dalio)
Claude Giraud ... Mohamed Larbi Slimane / Rabbi Zeiligman
Renzo Montagnani ... Le colonel Farès
Janet Brandt Janet Brandt ... Tzipé Schmoll, la grand-mère
André Falcon André Falcon ... Le ministre
Xavier Gélin Xavier Gélin ... Alexandre, le fils du général
Henri Guybet ... Salomon, le chauffeur de Pivert
Popeck Popeck ... Moishe Schmoll (as Jean Herbert)
Miou-Miou ... Antoinette Pivert
Denise Provence Denise Provence ... Esther Schmoll
Jacques François ... Le général
Claude Piéplu ... Le commissaire divisionnaire Andreani
Georges Adet Georges Adet ... Le vieux Lévi
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Storyline

In this riot of frantic disguises and mistaken identities, Victor Pivert, a blustering, bigoted French factory owner, finds himself taken hostage by Slimane, an Arab rebel leader. The two dress up as rabbis as they try to elude not only assasins from Slimane's country, but also the police, who think Pivert is a murderer. Pivert ends up posing as Rabbi Jacob, a beloved figure who's returned to France for his first visit after 30 years in the United States. Adding to the confusion are Pivert's dentist-wife, who thinks her husband is leaving her for another woman, their daughter, who's about to get married, and a Parisian neighborhood filled with people eager to celebrate the return of Rabbi Jacob. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE WILD... THE HILARIOUS... THE SCREWBALL... THE RIOTOUS See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | English | Hebrew | Yiddish | Arabic

Release Date:

18 October 1973 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mad Adventures of 'Rabbi' Jacob See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 18,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is known as the film with the most "gags" per minute. See more »

Goofs

When the horsemen of the Republican Guard are escorting the car, we hear the music of the band. If we hear the music at that moment, the horsemen have no music instrument in their hands: the characters are supposed to hear a music that could not be produced. Actually, if the French Republican Guard has cavalry regiments and a mounted band, the soldiers we see in the movie are not from the band, even if the director try to show a band. See more »

Quotes

Victor Pivert: [astonished, to Salomon, his driver] Salomon, you're Jewish?
See more »

Alternate Versions

To obtain a 'U' rating, cuts were made to the UK cinema release to punches during the fight scene between Sliman and one of his captors early in the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pastewka: Der Unfall (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A relationship of a life time
9 April 2004 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

I first saw this when I was a kid on its first US release back in the early 1970's. I laughed to kill myself and thought it was one of the funniest things I had ever seen.

The quest to see the movie again over the last 30 years has been a labor of love. I don't think it ever aired on New York TV and its showings on cable can be counted on one hand. I was lucky enough to see it a a local revival theater a few years ago before it completely disappeared. Thanks to E-Bay I recently picked up a VHS copy and now comes word that a US release on DVD is moments away. Life couldn't be better.

The one thing the handful of viewings of the film has taught me is that the movie plays differently every time I see it. Depending on mood it I may find it to be one of the funniest or one of the most charming films movies ever made. Some sequences in one viewing will leave me gasping for breath while other times it will simply make me smile. No matter though I've enjoyed it each time I've watched it.

The story of a bigot who gets way laid and ends up on the run all over France only to end up posing as a beloved Rabbi, is ripe with comic potential most of which is put to good use. Also put to good use are some twists that no rational person would come up with, but which work in the context of a wild comedy, the bubble gum factory for example.

This is a wonderful life affirming story that makes you laugh until you cry while showing that ultimately we are all the same. Which is kind of tragic in view of the films opening shots which are some of the earliest film footage shot at the World Trade Center, which had just opened.

If you like to laugh see this movie, its wonderful.


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