- X 2019
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
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
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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.
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.