26 November 2004 | tomquick
The glory days of French cinema
Tired of the IMDb top 250 films? Embarrassed (or bored) with seeing a film like Star Wars on the top of the heap? Then this film may or may not be for you. Not only is it hard to find, it's also not very good. It's another Fernandel/Boyer vehicle, which plays out as a rags to riches story of a sheep shearer turned hair cutter, in a series of sometimes funny vignettes.
The beauty of this film is not in its plot. The fifties were the glory days of French cinema, and millions turned out to watch films like this. Even on into the 60's French audiences did not watch nouvelle vague the way they did farces by the likes of Boyer, Oury and Verneuil; starring comedians like Bourvil, De Funes and Fernandel. These directors had the ability to create distinctively French films, which appealed broadly to the French people.....the sharply focused black and white images of postwar France, the machine-gun delivery of lines (often in a supremely self-assured fashion) , some ridiculous pratfalls (less in this film than in some of the others), and a few healthy dollops of sentiment. Ahh....those were the days. More readily available films; like Roman Holiday, the Tati films, or the Clouseau series; come close to capturing this style.