User Reviews (7)

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    ... and I DO mean magical. But then why not, the script is the work of Jacques Prevert who enjoyed nothing more than dabbling in fantasy - see: Les Portes de la nuit, Les Visiteurs du soir if you don't believe me - and the direction is by his kid brother, Pierre. This was the third and last time the brothers worked together and Voyage Surprise is a worthy follow up to Adieu, Leonard, three years earlier. With the possible exception of Martine Carol - who featured in the odd soft-porn like Caroline Cherie and later played Lola Montes for Ophuls - virtually the entire cast is unknown outside France and that is the world outside France's loss because every last eccentric is worth ten Tom Cruises. If I told you the plot you wouldn't believe it (as I wouldn't if you told it to me) so suffice it to say that an old man realizes a lifelong ambition to host a 'Mystery Tour' in a custom-built bus that might have been designed by the guests at the Mad Hatter's tea party to transport the denizens of Wonderland through the looking glass and into the 'real' world of 1947. That should be sufficient to tell you if this is your kind of movie or not; if 'yes' then you'll Delight in its myriad wonders, if 'no' get well soon.
  • The basic premise: A retired bus driver fulfills his lifelong dream of providing an extended "voyage surprise" (the title is translated as "Mystery Tour") for unsuspecting vacationers. They soon realize, while riding in the old man's home-made bus, that he hasn't bothered to plan any kind of itinerary. As a result, they end up in completely preposterous situations, of course. Voyage surprise!
  • Gangsters in Paris. Flic on a motorbike. Brothel where your fantasies come true. Coach going where? (It's a Mystery Tour - Voyage Surprise!).

    I have seen this movie only twice, the last time being about 20 years ago at the London Barbican. Just thinking of it brings back memories of times and places.

    It is /was in monochrome and reflective of Bunuel, but has optimism that denies the devastation of WW2.

    Probably my favourite movie of all time. I would so much like to see it again - is there any chance of a video/DVD release in the UK?

    Hollywood must have made a remake of it? - if not there is surely an opportunity.
  • Voyage Surprise is the funniest and surprising trip of a circumstances sampled group of poetic and comic characters in the post-war France. Each character is rich, each actor just perfect. Every word, every sentence (by Jacques Prevert) might be kept in an anthology. Who didn't leave Fleurville aboard Rossinante, who never visited the SOS Hurricane bedroom in the former Verdeau's whorehouse, who never performed Latude's Escapes in the Palavas-les-Flots' casino, misses a wonderful part of the french humor, wit and poetry. I probably never saw a film with so many scenes to remember and treasure. In fact, I think I saw it more than 15 times along the last 30 years, and I would see it again with delight.
  • I saw this about 1959 at the Cinema Guild theater in Berkeley where Pauline Kael programmed it, then in the 80s on a terrible VHS tape, and haven't been able to find it since. Someone suggested a Hollywood remake; I can think of a lot of ways for that to work out badly, but if it leads to making the original available again, I'm for it. As others here have said, it's very funny, farce but with a pro-small-town, anti-corporate bite, and a lead actor, the tiny, super-energetic Sinoël, cackling "Voyage surprise!" to lure customers to his fanciful trip.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Having to wait in at home today for some electrical repairs to be done,I took a look at the French titles I had waiting to be viewed. Knowing his brother Jacques's incredible work with auteur Marcel Carne,I booked a ticket for Pierre's surprise voyage.

    View on the film:

    The third and final time he would work with his brother Jacques, co-writer/director Pierre Prevert & cinematographer Jean Bourgoin travel with a fuelled optimism from post- WWII France, gazed at in a dazzling kaleidoscope symphony of classical music and sweeping tracking shots following the passengers on their journey. Rolling into the surreal, Pierre gives each pit stop the travellers make humorous stylish flourishes flowing from the ramshackle, rickety bus ride, to a cheeky escapade to the SOS Hurricane bedroom in the old Verdeau's whorehouse. Adapting Andre Gillois and Jean Nohain's novel for their last team-up, (joined by co-writer Claude Accursi) brothers Pierre and Jacques Prevert unveil an absolutely magical mystery tour. Drawing each traveller with refined poetic dialogue, which along with being playfully comedic,also reflects the excitement of freedom in France. Spinning the wheel to various destinations, the writers heighten each visit with a striking fantasy twist, which makes set-pieces such as the priest unintentionally hyping the voyage, and a soaring performance from the gang being mistaken for a theatrical troupe, as they all step aboard for a voyage surprise.
  • When I was in the theater business we screened this film as a double bill with the Beatle's "Magical Mystery Tour". The story goes that this was the source material for their idea. It is quite an enjoyable film and is quite an unexpected romp for the audience. If you can, see them together.