Let’s switch to a French movie for a bit. I watched Les TontonsFlingueurs, a must-see French movie dating back to 1963, directed by GeorgesLautner. Brilliant dialogues are by Michel Audiart. It stars Lino Ventura, Jean Lefebvre, Claude Rich, Bernard Blier, Francis Blanche and Sabine Sinjen, among others. It is a myth in french culture.
Apologies to non-french speakers, unfortunately that one’s going to ba hard to translate.
Monsieur Fernand is an ex-con who goes visit his dying ex-partner, Le Mexicain, who is still in organised crime. The dying man leaves him in chage of his business and of his teenage daughter, which is not really appreciated by the gang, some members decide to get rid of him. Monsieur Fernand has to defend himself from a series of comical killing attempts.
I have to admit I had some difficulties getting into the movie, but rapidly got the gist, and it is indeed hilarious. I am not that familiar with French must-see movies, strangely enough, but I enjoyed my time a lot, more and more as the movie was advancing. The greatest scene is when the five gangsters are drinking alcohol in the kitchen. And the ending. And the continuous punching of Raoul by Fernand. Many good scenes. My all time favourite is the shooting scene. I loved it. The language is slang, and sometimes difficult to understand, I have a feeling I may have missed some of the subtleties of the dialogue, so that would call for a second viewing….
Although it has all the features of a gangster movie this turns out to be a comedy of bad manners involving two factions led respectively by Lino Ventura and Bernard Blier. It is strange to say that it is only restropesctively that I realize how subtle and funny the movie is.
Theo : La bave du crapaud n'empêche pas la caravane de passer !
Paul : Écoute - on te connaît pas. Mais laisse-nous te dire que tu te prépares des nuits blanches, des migraines, des « nervousses brékdones » comme on dit de nos jours
Monsieur Fernand : Les cons ça ose tout ! C'est même à ça qu'on les reconnaît.
Monsieur Fernand : Trois morts subites en moins d'une demi-heure, ah ça part sévère les droits de succession.
Raoul : Mais y connaît pas Raoul ce mec ! Y va avoir un réveil pénible, j'ai voulu être diplomate à cause de vous tous, éviter que le sang coule. Mais maintenant c'est fini, je vais le travailler en férocité, le faire marcher à coup de lattes, à ma pogne je veux le voir ! Et je vous promets qu'il demandera pardon et au garde-à-vous!
While I was watching I laughed a little, but thinking about it again, I realise how hilarious this really is : double entendre, irony, plain funny, the movie’s got it all. A real classic that I’ll be happy to watch again.