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Le Grand Blond avec une Chaussure Noire

The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe
Follow that Guy with the One Black Shoe / Der grosse Blonde mit dem schwarzen Schuh

France 1972
produced by
Alain Poiré, Yves Robert for Les Productions de la Guéville, Madeleine Films/Gaumont
directed by Yves Robert
starring Pierre Richard, Bernard Blier, Jean Rochefort, Mireille Darc, Colette Castel, Jean Obé, Robert Castel, Jean Saudray, Roger Caccia, Maurice Barrier, Robert Dalban, Arlette Balkis, Tania Balachova, Paul Le Person, Jean Carmet, Catherine Obe, Bernard Charlan, Stéphane Bouoy, Jean-Michel Molé, Marcel Gassouk, Gérard Moisan, Bruno Oppe
written by Yves Robert, Francis Veber, music by Vladimir Cosma

Tall Blond Man

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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War has broken out between Colonel Toulouse (Jean Rochefort), chief of the French secret service, and his second in command Milan (Bernard Blier), with Milan desperately trying to lure Toulouse into a trap to have him removed and be promoted to his position. Toulouse of course knows his employee is up to something, so he sets up a trap of his own, a trap for which he only needs a proper bait - which would be a random guy his second-in-command Perrache (Paul Le Person) picks up at tghe airport, and this random person just happens to be Francois Perrin (Pierre Richard), a slightly klutzy musician who thinks his biggest problem is keeping his affair with his best friend Maurice's (Jean Carmet) wife Paulette (Colette Castel) a secret from Maurice. Thing is of course that during the whole story Perrin actually fails to notice that Milan's men are shadowing him and eventually even try to kill him, instead he sleeps and falls in love with one of Milan's agents, Christine (Mireille Darc) - and she with him -, and leaves it to Maurice, who has meanwhile found out about his affair with his wife and wants to kill him, to find the corpses in his appartment that have been piling up since Toulouse's and Milan's men got into a turf war, corpses that eventually also include Milan himself. But since Perrache, who soon starts to feel sympathy with Perrin, is very effective in removing the bodies, Perrin is soon led to believe Maurice is crazy and thus has no problems convincing him that he even imagined the affair he has with Paulette.

The film ends with the story being resolved with Perrin being totally ignorant he has been the lead part in a secret service-war, but he still gets the girl - Christine of course -, and Toulouse is so impressed with the way Perrin handled the situation he thinks about hiring him.

 

Quite simply put, this is a great comedy that effortlessly combines an enjoyably silly yet in itself logical story and hilariously absurd genre elements, subtle slapstick and situation comedy to a whole that's even more than the sum of its components, also helped by a great cast of character actors and a directorial effort that light-footedly avoids in-your-face-jokes to be even funnier on a more subtle level.

Simply put, a great comedy.

 

By the way, this film got an US-American remake in 1985, The Man with One Red Shoe by Stan Dragoti with Tom Hanks (one of his first starring roles) in the Pierre Richard-role - which is one particularly unfunny mess, and shows that as a comedian, Hanks doesn't even have a fraction of Pierre Richard's talent. That Hanks still had a phenomenal career after this one is almost inexplicable.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD