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  • It is a wonderful comedy, lively, vivid and energetic, one cannot stop laughing all the time. Louis de Funes is at his best again, acting perfectly the strict but good-natured policeman and the plot is complex enough to capture the attention. According to me, this film is a model for a comedy.The daughter of the policeman is very sweet and is a typical representative of young generation,overcoming the conservatism of the old generation.The music of the film is also wonderful, representing the typical atmosphere of its time and contributes much to the joyful spirit of the film.I also liked very much the idea the film starting in black and white and later becoming colourful.As a whole extremely witty and lively film, typical for the French character, which makes you not only smile but laugh sincerely.
  • jimakros11 March 2003
    This is the movie that made of De funes an international star and is considered the first of his great "hits".Almost everything that made De funes great in his later movies is present in this one.His typical "brownosing the boss-small tyrant to his inferiors" character,his relationship with daughter/son,the easy going"french" mentality of others around him that makes for most of the jokes, and the feel good sence of his movies. Add to all this the 60's scenery of st.tropez and you have an unbeatable combination.But of course,the central piece is De funes himself and his comic genious.I watched this movie when i was a kid, and watched it again almost 20 years later and i still laughed.An absolute must to any one who appreciates french humour and wants to taste the-in my opinion-greatest funny man ever.
  • The Gendarm is one of these movies which get aired in Germany at least twice a year on television on public holidays. Shame on me I never took the opportunity to give it my full attendance. So now when it got re-released on DVD in a box containing the first 3 flix with Louis De Funes as Gendarm Cruchot I gripped my chance – and was in no way disappointed.

    In the first 10 minutes of his movie (which I never saw before) we are introduced to the choleric character of a county policeman arresting fish and chicken thieves and singing in the church choir. This piece of film is in black and white contrasting the colorful scenes at St Tropez later on. Already these first 10 minutes are the work of a genius in humor. De Funes never fails to amuse with his extraordinary combination of being the law abiding correct police officer and same time unable to control his overwhelming emotions as depicted in his facial expression and excessive gestures. With this he is throughout the movie never overacting like in some of his later works.

    About the main part of the movie we see him elevated to lead a fearless four of flics in the mundane town of St Tropez on Mediterranean Cote D'Azur. Some story lines are welded together about nudist bathers (are they in existence still?), young folks doing some vandalism and finally a big robbery of a classical painting which he can (by chance for sure) resolve. These are used to include some extraordinary political and social satire sub-tones like Louis leading his flics into assault on nude people on the beach like famous French Foreign Legion soldiers in desert wars.

    I was brilliantly entertained by this comedy and could laugh out loud on some of the punchlines and almost dadaist slapstick. Oh, and you won't forget the catchy St Tropez tune performed by his film daughter and featured 3 times in the film. I give it 8 out of 10.

    Additional trivia for German version: In the restored version on DVD we see some short scenes which were cut from the theatrical version, recognizable by not being overdubbed with German synchro. They do not add much to the story but fit into the picture of a great comedy.
  • Very much a 1960s style European beach comedy. The plot won't win any literary prizes, the gags are little better than average, but the comic timing of Funes, Lefebvre, Galabru, etc. is brilliant, study material for acting school. This is very much a feel-good slapstick comedy with the usual towering central performance of Louis de Funes in the title role, a prime example of a central character carrying a movie.

    The best bit of the film is the black-and-white pre-credit opening sequence, set before Cruchot's move to St.Tropez. The scene with the chicken-thief and the choir is priceless.
  • This first part of the incredible gendarme-series sets the tone for the follow up. Funes and Galabru are the stars, but the lovely Geneviève Grad as Cruchot's daughter Nicole has a fine performance including singing a catchy tune. She's is trying to make a good impression at her new friends by claiming she's the daughter of a famous businessman instead of a gendarme. This is the start of a fine mess, which includes a kidnapping,some hilarious impersonations and a Rembrandt painting. Cruchot puts himself in some awkward positions to save him and his daughters ass. Surely 4 out of 5.
  • Said differently, this is the film that launched the career of Louis de Funès in 1964. He was no newcomer and had already twenty years of experience collecting small roles on the screen and bigger ones on the stage, but fate was only waiting for the last scraps of hair to disappear on the top of his head so he could get on the top of the box office for almost two decades.

    The movie would also span a series of sequels and become the most emblematic role of his career. See, there are many elements of history movie buffs will enjoy in this film so I'm afraid it doesn't leave much to say about the film itself, but the elements of context are vital because they help to understand the reasons begind one of the most successful careers of French cinema.

    We are in the middle of the 60's, at the culmination of what they call the "Glorious Thirties", France has become a major international political player, intoxicated by the aura of General De Gaulle, the Algerian war is over, and the first baby boom generation is coming to age and can enjoy their first great summer holidays. But as far as summer was concerned, there was one place to be, and it was Saint Tropez. You don't know how big Saint Tropez was in the 60's? Are you kidding?

    The place's story is almost as legendary as Las Vegas, it was a remote beach station in the Mediterranean South that became cherished by the New Wave stars, one of its most memorable ambassadors was the loveliest mermaid: Brigitte Bardot. One running gag in the 1972 comedy "The Annuity" is that the film starts so early in time the name "Saint Tropez" never rings a bell and this is where the poor schmuck bought a little house at a cheap price. To end on the trivia, the dubbing in "The Sword in the Stone" had "Bermuda" replaced by "Saint Tropez".

    So the town was the Mecca of fun, vacation and amusement, and when a screenwriter came to a real St Tropez gendarme station after his camera was stolen, he was told to come after nap time, a joke worthy of an Astérix album that convinced him to make fun of them in his next project. The premise was in line with the city's popularity, all they needed was an actor. De Funes had made a few successes in 1963, the most notable one was "Pouic Pouic" but producers were rather reluctant, they only hired him in exchange of several cuts in the budget and hiring second-rate actors.

    Michel Galabru would eavesdrop a conversation revealing that they were looking for such a cast and a few time later, he got the offer. His career was launched as well. And so was the team made, with Louis de Funès as iconic Ludovic Cruchot and Galabru as Adjutant Gerber. The masterstroke of the script, where De Funès was involved, was to make Galabru the superior.

    So there's a very interesting opening in the Alps region where we see Cruchot operating with some cattle thief and then getting a letter of promotion. The opening is full of comical moments but it's the choice of monochrome shooting that creates the exhilarating feeling when it jumps to color and to the catchy music of "Do You Saint Tropez", so typical of French youth passion for American music.

    This transition is literally De Funès career in microcosm, from the black and white little roles to the thundering and joyful sixties. And his arrival at Saint Tropez with his daughter Nicole (Genevieve Gard, who sings the song) is actually one of the most pivotal moment of comedic and French popular cinema. It's not just about De Funès but popular cinema had just stolen the thunder from snobbish New Wave directors. And that feels good, too.

    But there's more in casting De Funès as the newcomer and not the highest ranked, it allows him to plays what would become his most famous shtick: authoritarian and overzealous with the subordinates ("look at me in the eyes", with the pointing fingers was his first catchphrase) and honey-mouthed with the superior. The interaction between the gendarmes are some of the film's greatest moments, and they work so well, you actually don't wait for a plot to spoil these moments.

    And yet the plot involving the nudist camp is actually very well done and contribute to some of the film's best moments when Cruchot improvises himself a drill sergeant instructor and when for the first time, the catchy theme of the Gendarme march composed by Raymond Lefebvre is played, the tune echoes the iconic Colonel Bogey March and became a standard of French cinema.

    Many elements from the movies would be used in the later sequels, the relationships between Gerber and Cruchot, their challenging authority moments, the crazy driving nun, the march, but they all carry a special charm for the simple reason than we're watching them for the first time and because this is De Funès finally being given his leading role and being at the top of his game. In the context of the film, it's fresh and original.

    Although I conceded it suffers from the usual De Funès syndrome where the second half is less interesting than the first. Still, this a real product of its time, it has De Funès, it has baby boomers, it has twist, it has St Tropez, and even a nod to Général De Gaulle at the end, it is one of the most emblematic movies of the 60's with one of the most emblematic actors, and for all the budget it took, it was the most successful movie of the year with more than 7 million viewers, not bad?
  • The first "Pink Panther" movie, directed by Blake Edwards, with Peter Sellers in the main role, came out in 1963. As practically everybody knows, it was a wonderful spoof of the French police as seen through British eyes. Although the exact relationships between the Pink Panther movies on the one side and the totally 6 "Le Gendarme De Saint-Tropez"-movies, directed by Jean Girault, has, as far as I know, never been revealed or scrutinized, the latter ones, starting in 1964, can surely be seen as an answer to make fun of the French provincial police by some people from Paris.

    A short comparison between Sellers (who has been considered widely as the best comedian of all times) and De Funes (who never got really famous in the US despite the release of such movies like "Rabbi Jacob" and the VHS release of "La Grande Vadrouille"), De Funes' comic is devastatingly different from the one of Sellers. De Funes, who was a trained pantomimic, used this special capacity of his in most of his films, his being-a-comedian has elements of vaudeville - yet not in the sense of the Marx brothers, of slapstick - yet not in the sense of the early American silent movies, - of horseplay, yet without striving tastelessness or primitiveness. However, his comic is never intellectual, Funes could never have played Dr. Strangelove - as Seller could never have been Balduin or Oskar.

    Nevertheless, the characters of Cruchot and Cluseau are closer than one would expect, yet still radically different in their basics. While Clouzeau never seems to be ridiculous when he hunts criminals, Cruchot does, because he is more interested in chicken-stealing than in felonies. How Cruchot treats his caught thieves, reveals that he is not to much different from them. On the other side, Clouseau is different from everybody, he would be too clumsy to associate with his "victims". Clouzeau is much more the French guy as he is seen by foreigners than Cruchot: Quiet, with a tendency to be elegant, womanizing, polite. But now quite the opposite is Cruchot: He walks around with his uniform even at home, he is loud, rude, slaps and hits and beats his "subservients", has mostly a daughter (in later "Gendarm"-sequels a wife), but does not come in flirting contact with any other women. He uses politeness and respect strictly to get to his purpose - as he uses otherwise rudeness and disrespect. However, both Cluseau and Cruchot are behaving strictly against police rules, but in their "anticyclic" behavior they reach the goal where probably everyone else would fail.

    Louis De Funes has often being criticized for having played the allegedly primitive, but funny "Gendarm"-movies, after having been for decades a revered, but outside of France completely unnoticed stage actor. It is true that especially his work that he did with Gerard Oury belongs probably to the best that French comedy of the 60ies and 70ies had to offer, but without the "Gendarm"-movies he possibly would never have reached his enormous popularity. It is time that these 6 movies are edited for the international audience, too.
  • When I was a kid, local television mercilessly reprized "Le gendarme de Saint-Tropez". I saw all six films countless times and enjoyed them every time. Over time, I completely forgot about them, until recently, when without special reason they came to my mind and I simply had to see them again as soon as possible. I just finished the first film from 1964 and, risking to sound stupid, I'm so happy. It brought me back to childhood and cheered me up with its casual and cultured humor, without going over the top and vulgarity typical of modern comedy. The story is intelligent and witty, humor natural and cheerful, picture of Louis de Funes should be put in a dictionary next to the word "fun", and scenes of nudists hunt, as well as tracks "La Marche des Gendarmes" and "Douliou Douliou Saint-Tropez", remain forever etched in memory, and it is enough only to remember them to make you smile. If you didn't see this... or better, if you do not know this movie by heart, you have no idea how much you miss.

  • This is a pretty amusing entry on Marechal Luudovic Cruchot(Louis De Funes)Gendarmes stories. Starts with a prologue in black and white where Cruchot is a corporal at a village .He's suddenly been promoted to sergeant in Sainz Tropez and undertakes the changeling. There he goes along with his beautiful daughter Nicole (Genevieve Grad).At the Nationale Gendarmerie finds four Marechals(Jean Lefevre,Michael Modo,Grosso) and chef adjutant Jerome(Michael Galabru).Meanwhile a mobs have robbed a Rembrant painting titled the 'girl of the tulip' and the Gendarmes must to find it. Besides happen several adventures, with highlights such as the chase of nudists whom Cruchot ask them documentation, when Lucien(Jean Lefevre)is obligated to nude himself for close nudists, and the ordinary nun driving rapidly in the Citroen, among others.

    This agreeable French comedy about the sympathetic Gendarmes contains slapstick,slapdash, simple humor and lots of entertainment and fun . Louis De Funes, as usual, steals the show, the puts paces, grimace,and overacting by means of excessive mimic gesticulation. Marvelous, wonderful Genevieve Grad as festive daughter, she starred various sword and sandals movies.It's a co-production French-Italian , for that reason appears Gabriele Tinti as a gangster, he's customary actor of co-productions during the 60 and 70s. However doesn't appear Claude Gensac who collaborated five movies as Funes'spouse, because in the next installment 'Gendarme get married' she'll become into wife. Glimmer local cinematography in luminous sun under Saint Tropez'blue sky. Enjoyable musical score by Raymond Lefevre including musical background leitmotif and catching disco song titled, of course, St Tropez. Habitual final parade with Cruchot greeted like a hero. If you like Funes' overacting, you'll enjoy this one. The flick is lively written and amusingly directed by Jean Girault, who followed film-making the series: Gendarmes and creatures of outer space,Gendarme in balade, Gendarme at New York, and Gendarme and the Gendarmettes.
  • Of all the genres, comedy is the one which gets more easily dated. That's because the conventions for each moment in time (and for each culture) are very volatile, they change quickly. And, for some reason, we don't "pile" new notions over old ones, which is to say, with humor, once we have new conventions, we reject old ones (unlike, for instance, the detective film). This means that what makes people laugh now, won't work in a very short time. I'm still young, and i've seen that happen, with films i saw as a teen. But than we have another aspect to be reckoned: the fact that, though audiences adapt to new conventions regardless of their age (as long as they keep seeing new films and live active social lives), they still gain a cinematic memory. So, many times, people "know" that they will re-watch a film which "is" funny, they remember they laughed out loud when they saw it the first time.

    I saw this film with my mother, and i registered this effect on her. To me, this was something i had seen 10 years ago, to her, it was a memory from childhood, when these gendarme films were fresh.

    Now they aren't fresh. Social criticisms here are totally out of date for European societies, even for the Portuguese!, so that's a card out of the deck.

    The kind of gimmick Funés uses are also no longer so watchable. Physical acting has evolved to play with the body as an object (Jim Carey type) more than with the placing of the characters in a funny situation, like here (Chaplin made both things).

    I do sympathize with his unlikable character. The witty policeman, despicable, over-protective about his girl (that's social commentary as well), caring for appearances. It's a matter of attitude, and Louis de Funés was a valuable performer.

    One thing is remarkable about this film and its context: St.Tropez. What is remarkable, besides beautiful beaches, and pleasant lifestyle, is how cinema was an important, even fundamental, piece of the publicity machinery the french created to promote the place. It starts with 'Et dieu crea la femme', and it goes through a number of other films, including this one. Here we even have a song about the village, obviously made to promote both the film and the place. So here (as with 'and god...') we have the key elements that were important to highlight: beach, sand, summer-mood, boats, high life, open-minded relaxed living youth, attractive girls. The story exists to show off these elements. Well, you go today to St Tropez and compare it to what we have here in this film (and specially in 'and god..') and you have to admit they were successful in their campaign.

    My opinion: 3/5
  • THE TROOPS OF ST. TROPEZ is a hilarious comedy, which brings an abundance of a cheap humor and fast fun. This is a somewhat satirical look at some serious social issues that rotate continuously in the story. That is, from the beginning, very frivolous.

    Ludovic Cruchot, a gendarme is the embodiment of the law in a small French village. He has been re-assigned to the seaside commune of Saint-Tropez under the orders of command sergeant major Gerber. His beautiful and rebellious daughter goes with him. The gendarmes have a serious problem: a group of persistent nudists. However, Cruchot has an "ingenious" plan. Meanwhile, his daughter comes in contact with a gang of thieves...

    This is a very pleasant and short amusement, regardless of the whole range of unpleasant coincidence. The scenery is is a big hit, because it distracts attention from a distorted perspective on society. There is no place for a parody, this is a comic charade with unclear directions. Mr. Girauld has managed to shuffle all the elements, such as family, crime, religion, youthful rebellious spirit and incompetent guardians of law and order.

    Louis de Funès as Ludovic Cruchot has, given to his movements, noises, grimaces and gestures, completely stole the show. He has an aesthetic sense of humor, which is accompanied with his enormous energy. Well, Cruchot somewhat reminiscent on well known inspector Clouseau. Geneviève Grad as Nicole Cruchot is a beautiful girl from a province who comes into a tourist paradise. She has two problems: her youthful rebellious nature and a strict father, who happens to be a hyperactive gendarme. Michel Galabru as warrant officer Jérôme Gerber is preparing for the madness, at least for now.

    The films about gendarmes from a hot French coast are, like many other things, a part of my childhood.
  • gavin694219 June 2017
    The ambitious police officer Cruchot is transferred to St. Tropez. He's struggling with persistent nude swimmers, but even more with his teenage daughter, who's trying to impress her rich friends by telling them her father was a millionaire and owned a yacht in the harbor.

    This film was such a pleasant surprise. I knew nothing going into it, was not familiar with the actors or anyone involved. Heck, I did not even know it was a comedy or what kind of comedy it was. And it hit me hard with laughs, definitely one of the finest French comedies ever made.

    By far the funniest part is the chasing of the nude swimmers. Somehow they manage to do it without it being obscene, just silly and quite humorous. If nothing else, the film is worth seeing for that sequence.
  • This flick is a craft of fun tidbits. The b&w portion in the beginning and color rest of movie is genius. Also their dream sequences being in a Hawaiian sequence with hoola girls, a western, a medieval swashbuckler, and a wwar flick (which is which Funes is in) as well as him playing a Robin Hood morsel are also ingenious. It's like he's transferred from this proper French village (complete with a choir sequence) to this resort town. The movie even has St. in the title leading you to believe it's about stuff like that in the b&w portion beginning until it becomes this zany tropical hoolabaloo. Splendiastic. Ooooh I get it the "Tropez" is like tropical town. Drop
  • naomijacquin11 March 2021
    Must watch iconic French comedy. This is really an epitome of French humour
  • fil-nik096 January 2021
    I am giving to all films from Gandarme series a 10 out of pure nostalgy. These days around New Year they played on TV all the films and though I can admit that now they do not seem as funny as they once were... still they gave you a really good feeling.

    My fav scene from this one. At the party when he says to his daughter: A la maison, a la maison (at home, at gome) and the woman dancing with him asks: Ce soir? / tonight?
  • kosmasp15 March 2020
    Luis de Funes is one of the best known French comedians on film. Maybe even the best known from France, I won't make that distinction, but leave that up to you. This one introduces us to a police character he did portray in multiple movies. While this has quite a lot of things that made and are associated with Funes, there are certain scenes that are almost a bit too much.

    And I'm not talking about convinient timing of certain events, to make jokes work. I'm talking about the beach scene with the nudists. I didn't depict or pause that scene, so it may be possible that there is some visible bare body parts (in case you worry about these things), but that aside the joke that is being repeated multiple times barely works the first time ... it gets annoying as it gets repeated.

    This may be nit-picking to some (especially to the die hard fans of the movie), but newer viewers should be aware of certain flaws along the way. Having said that, this is really funny and enjoyable and Funes (even if almost sidetracked by his film daughter) never fails to entertain
  • an easy comedy at the first sight. one of the most French comedy at the second view. because it propose a character and gives to a great actor the chance to build his glory. because it is the foundation of the universe of de Funes, the frame for his different masques, irony, stereotypes, humor, vulnerability, generosity, tenderness and frustration of the tyrant. short, the introduction to a seductive series and the first step to a world who remains touching, seductive and source of nostalgia. a story so simple, gags well known, hysterical little character and storms of different small situations. nothing more. so, must see it. maybe, as useful lesson of French cinema.
  • What makes ,at least to these eyes,the first episodes of the gendarme saga worthwhile is the presence of his daughter ,played by the mischievous Geneviève Grad.When she left,after the third sequel,the other movies failed to excite me.

    Cruchot has been to transferred to Saint-Tropez and his daughter is overjoyed.She was probably sick and tired of singing canticles in the church of her one-horse town.

    In France it was ,like in the rest of the world the yeah yeah girls and the twistin' time.And Grad ,who was not a singer,is twisting and shouting a tune called "Saint-Tropez twist" and it goes like like that:"choobidoobidoobidoo Saint Tropez !Choobidoobidoobidoo Saint-Tropez!" But she wants to be part of the golden youth ,of the rich kids whose parents own yachts and desirable mansions on the Cöte d'Azur .It's not easy when you are a gendarme's daughter.And daddy will be led to adventures which will endanger his career because of his daughter's pretensions.

    All the elements which would make the series a blockbuster are present including the nun and her Deux-Chevaux .she probably has A Mickey mouse driving license.
  • After seeing "La Grande Vadrouille" almost every year(I have a french mother and every time we go to France we see this movie) and loving it, I thought that this movie could be as funny as that one. BIG MISTAKE! This movie sucks big time for about an hour and then goes into an unsatisfying story.The first hour is filled with very bad sequences like the nudist beach-scene.The last half an hour has got some funny moments,highlighted with the scene in the deux-cheveaux with the sister.

    The final scene makes no sense at all,because we see De Funes in 2 different clothings for no good reason,this was very confusing and if it was ment to be funny it didn't work. A lot of sequels were made of this movie,which makes it even scarier to think about those pictures!

    Shame for Louis de Funes,I think I will watch "La Grande Vadrouille" again. 2/10