8 September 2020 | ulicknormanowen
Beware of the taking hand!
Plot :a banker ,whose wife sleeps with his secretary ,receives death threats letters: if he does not pay one million francs , we wouldn't like to bet on your chances of survival:signed :"the taking hand "; after a third letter ,the frightened man goes to the police who give him protection in the shape of two detectives , some kind of Dumb and Dumber , or Hergé's les Dupondt (the Thompson twins) ,quickly put to sleep with drugged coffee ;but the wealthy man ,who does not trust these dim-witted cops at all , has already left Paris, en route to the south of France where he takes refuge in his sister's place .
Meanwhile , the police find the banker again :it's a tramp ,the spitting image of the disappeared notable ;but this double cannot obviously recognize his so-called wife and secretary ; two doctors ,about as efficient as the two cops, diagnose amnesia .To make the matters worse ,he's kidnapped by "the taking hand " ,actually a gang .
A tour de force by Pierre Larquey,who pulls off a double part with gusto ; a good screenplay , full of sudden new developments , of hilarious scenes (the wife and her lover ,"pretending to kiss ", to give the amnesiac a shock to help him regain memory ) ,a shaggy-dog story which ends up in a loony bin .
Maurice Cammage was a past master in coarse comedies taking place in the barracks ,all of them eminently forgettable;but given a far-fetched but effective story, he would come up with an enjoyable little comedy such as this one or "une vie de chien" (1941).