3 December 2002 | dbdumonteil
Deserves to be watched.
Yeah,and in spite of the very poor rating.At the time ,France was trying to make its own James Bond movie.So they made a lot of OSS 117,Coplan,and other secret agents from the deuxième bureau.All of these attempts failed dismally because of the poor screenplays and the shoestring budgets which couldn't hold a candle to Salzman-Broccoli productions.
"Coplan sauve sa peau" is a different matter because the director is ,well,a true director:Yves Boisset was to become later an important -and often politically committed- auteur with such works as "RAS" (Algeria war) ,"Dupont Lajoie" (racism) or "Allons Enfants" (WW1).It is his first effort and it's really something that should be restored to favor.I'm sure Boisset was not that much interested in Paul Kenny's hero and novel.The screenplay is sometimes impossible to decipher anyway.It's much more the treatment,the atmosphere that matters .There are a lot influences here,particularly "the most dangerous game" and Count Zaroff whose shadow hangs over the ending;the two sisters recall "Vertigo" ;the dwarves Tod Browning and "freaks" ;Bernard Blier 's murder the Italian horror movies ;the fortress and its last door "secret beyond the door".But there are also hints at Greek mythology:the hunting which may (or may not) have been an ancient Hittite custom;Pandora's Box ;the gorgonia.Besides ,except for the last sequences,the hero is no longer the strong he-man:most of the times ,he seems to be completely overtaken by events .He's got his arm in a sling during the first third.The dialogue remains often obscure and the supporting cast-Bernard Blier,Jean Topart,Jean Servais- much better than the leads , gives a very nice tongue-in-cheek performance.
No masterpiece,but much better than most of spy thrillers of the sixties.