20 November 2016 | dbdumonteil
Gérard Barray,Commissaire San Antonio ,round two
The true lovers of San Antonio will fatally be disappointed :gone are the vividness of the language,the colorfulness ,the Rabelaisian side .. Only the last sequence,where Berurier teaches the new female cops (ex-prostitutes) in front of a board on which a big whistle is drawn ,is true to Dard 's spirit.
I'm not a San Antonio fan but I do like Gérard Barray,a sweet childhood memory ("Pardaillan") :he's a very talented actor ,very expressive ,smart and full of humor ;obviously he opts for a tongue- in-chick acting ,the best thing to do with such a script and a non- existent director (Guy Lefranc had a relatively promising debut though).He gets good support from Jean Richard (also known for his portrayal,in a diametrically opposite way,of Simenon's Commissaire Maigret);the good cast also includes Marcel Bozzuffi ,generally cast as a villain,and Maria Mauban, a fifties star on the wane ,but still very attractive in a part of a so-called seamstress ,with probably lesbian tendencies (the bubble head girl played by Anna Gael).
The screenplay is more satisfying than the first effort,although the lines are less witty ,cause Audiard is not at hand this time. Beru is angry with his tenant who did not pay the rent for the mansion he inherited from his aunt ;he discovers that the residence has become a brothel,with a madam (Marthe Mercadier) and "Ces Dames" (those ladies) ,coming from every part of the world .The MacGuffin is 20 kilos of cocaine which many people covet.
Good things:the geography book,the dig at a shady person who was awarded the Legion D'Honneur,the perfectly trained would be butler who uses a refined language with profuse subjunctive imperfect ,the final scene .
On the other hand,Beru's drag act is heavy-handed ,and his wife ,with her shrill voice, unbearable .
It was Gérard Barray's last main part in a French movie ;he performed on stage afterward.His unexpected reappearance in Amenabar's "Abre Los Ojos" proved he could have become a great screen actor,had he be given more interesting roles.