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  • People will say that the plot does not make sense.It does in the Prevertesque way.Mainly in the first part,it's all linked with absolute skill.

    On a train ,a two-bit thief (Carette)tries to strip a lady from what she has on her:too bad,she's a thief herself and smarter than he is.So his wicked cousin Tancrède tells him there's a safe in a house in the neighborhood and he knows the combination.The hero takes his brats to the robbery ,pretending he's taking them to the dentist.Alas,he is caught in the act and his victim (Pierre Brasseur)blackmails him: either he kills his rich cousin Ludovic ,or he gives him away to the Police.

    Ludovic (Charles Trénet's best film performance,by far)is considered the idiot of the village .Village idiot,yes,but in Prévert's way: that is to say he is happy,at once mad and sensible,leading his life without worrying about the gossips.

    His house, where he puts up gypsies,a flower lady, a grinder and more is worthy of Prevert's poem "Inventaire" . And when Ludovic and his friends leave the house,because living alone (and leaving alone as well) is too hard for him,they make me think of another poem "En Sortant de L'Ecole" .

    A good knowledge of French is useful because of the puns,the black humor and the poetry of the dialog.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This tale of a crook who is rumbled and then blackmailed to off a third party also served Patrice Leconte years later when he fashioned Tango out of it. This time around it's the great Carette - established brilliantly as an inept robber in the first sequence where his intended victim easily disarms him and then, adding insult to injury, returns his wallet which she has lifted skillfully without his knowledge. His next job is opening a safe in the home of Pierre Brasseur and to which, a la Runyon's Butch Minds The Baby, he takes along a brace of juves. Naturally he is caught in flagrante by Brasseur who then puts it to him that if he were to consider topping his (Brasseur's) wealthy cousin they'll say no more about the bungled robbery. Inevitably the cousin, Ludovic, ostensibly the village idiot, turns out to be a nice guy who Leonard can't help liking. Written by Jacques this was directed by his kid brother Pierre Prevert who wasn't best pleased at having Charles Trenet more or less thrust upon him in the key role of Ludovic. Better known at the time as a singer songwriter Trenet was woefully inferior to Yves Montand as both a singer and an actor though he was a superior songwriter but all he has to do here is look cute and fill his house with gypsies and livestock which he manages to pull off without tripping over the kleigs and in the event turned in what would turn out to be his best screen performance by far. With Prevert on quill the puns come thick and fast and the writing is as polished as we have come to expect from him. One to savour.