The Most Wanted Man (1953)

Unrated   |    |  Comedy


The Most Wanted Man (1953) Poster

Joe Calvert (Fernandel) is a nearsighted, friendly man who works as a clerk in a large department store, who gets into embarrassing situations when he isn't wearing his glasses. Since Joe ... See full summary »


6.1/10
241

Photos

  • Zsa Zsa Gabor and Fernandel in The Most Wanted Man (1953)
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor and Fernandel in The Most Wanted Man (1953)
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor and Fernandel in The Most Wanted Man (1953)
  • The Most Wanted Man (1953)
  • The Most Wanted Man (1953)
  • The Most Wanted Man (1953)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


29 May 2010 | benoit-3
10
| A French take on America's obsession with guns and violence
This very funny film is unusual in many ways. First of all, it is a French satire of American movies (i.e. gangster films) as they were perceived by the French in 1953, paying back the American film industry for all the clichés it propagated about various nationalities, such as the French and the Italians. This intention is expressed clearly in the prologue. As such, it is infinitely more interesting than the adulating stance the young critics of "Les Cahiers du cinéma" had towards American film-making at the same time. French people at that time loved to make fun of Americans almost as much as they loved seeing their films. This explains Jerry Lewis's special status in France: an American comedian making fun of the American way of life.

Furthermore, it is a French-Italian production, whose indoor scenes were shot at Cinecitta and exteriors were done in the US, for more authenticity. It stars a hodge-podge of talent: Fernandel, a big comedy star both in France and Italy (because of his Don Camillo films), Zsa Zsa Gabor (an international star who could speak French), David Opatoshu, an American Yiddish actor, equally at ease in gangster roles and Biblical films, who could also speak French with the required American accent, Louis Seigner, a member of the Comédie-Française, who could literally do anything, and Paolo Stoppa, an prominent Italian character actor.

In this film, everyman Fernandel is mistaken for the leader of a crime syndicate, a situation that accommodates everybody: the police, the politicians, the gangsters themselves, the media and even Fernandel's female co-worker at the department store where he used to be an incompetent and myopic product demonstrator.

The film is extremely funny in its depiction of American media, police procedure and (perceived) obsession with crime and criminals. Its judgement of America wasn't very off the mark when one considers what American films have become in the last part of the last century (ever since "Bonnie and Clyde" and "The Godfather") and what they are now: completely preoccupied with crime, blood, violence, mayhem, murder, torture, death and destruction.

Fernandel is excellent throughout (as always) but a special prize should go to David Opatoshu who created the part of Slim the Killer, a slightly dim-witted assassin who uses the immortal line: "J'suis une p'tite tête" (I'm not a thinker), which all Frenchmen will always fondly remember.

It is directed by Henri Verneuil, an Americano-Armenian Frenchman who directed some of the most memorable gangster films ever made but was not above satirizing his American models, as this comedy shows. The dialogues are by the immortal Michel Audiard. As an extra bonus, the music is in part written by Nino Rota (Fellini's composer) using a very before-its-time early synthesizer instrument called Ondes Martenot to lend the whole film an aura of wonder and mystery.

The DVD of this film is only available in Region 1 in its French unsubtitled version from Quebec distributor Imavision. It deserves to be offered in a Criterion edition with enough annotations and extras to explain its many subtleties to the Americans it so efficiently derides.

More Like This

A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man

The Red Inn

The Red Inn

Let's Rob the Bank

Let's Rob the Bank

The 317th Platoon

The 317th Platoon

La femme flic

La femme flic

Forbidden Fruit

Forbidden Fruit

Assassin in the Phonebook

Assassin in the Phonebook

Swamp Water

Swamp Water

Les Visiteurs du Soir

Les Visiteurs du Soir

Le sucre

Le sucre

Lost Souvenirs

Lost Souvenirs

Any Number Can Win

Any Number Can Win

Did You Know?

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Comedy

Details

Release Date:

1962

Language

French


Country of Origin

France, Italy

Filming Locations

New York City, New York, USA

What Movie Makes John Cena Cry Like a Baby?

Dolittle star John Cena reveals what movie makes him ugly cry, his favorite acting brothers, and gets us excited for his new movie with Jackie Chan.

Watch now

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com