6 August 2019 | dbdumonteil
A boarding-school going mad.
Not to be mistaken with Chaplin's "a dog's life" .Maurice Cammage is not in the same league,by a long shot !
His field is the coarse comedies , about the joys and pains of the grunts in their barracks ;there are plenty of them ,the titles of which speak for themselves ("La Caserne En Folie "" Les Bleus De LA Marine" "La Mariée Du Régiment" ....); but it was "Trois Artilleurs Au Pensionnat " which took foolishness to new limits: blind drunk , three grunts enter a boarding-school for girls they mistake for their barracks !
In 1941,(not 1943 as the imdb page reads) in an occupied country ,it would have been unthinkable to make people laugh at French soldiers -who had just been defeated -;so the action of this movie took place in a boarding-school for girls ,but without any soldiers.The worst could be expected .
Against all odds,it is not so : it is a pleasant little comedy ,with several riotously funny scenes ;actually it's Fernandel's film ,and when he is good, he can do without a director .
The story often goes crazy ,which is fine with me: a bulimic headmaster who keeps on stuffing himself with sandwiches,tarlets and babanas and dies of indigestion, his wife who believes in metempsychosis and thinks that her late hubby is reincarnated as a dog (hence the title) ,a teacher (Fernandel) who teaches everything from maths to music to chemistry,; to make the accreditation inspector believe there are several teachers ,Fernandel has to disguise himself ,a thing he is used to .He goes as far as to dress up as a woman (to pass himself off as the late headmaster's wife to take an exam) and naturally he is wooed by no less than two men a la "Fanfare D'Amour" (remade as " some like it hot").And there's a bubblehead pupil whose stuttering is contagious ,who can't recite Pythagoras' theorema ,who "draws what she sees" ,but who makes a clean sweep of the prizes .There's also a nice musical moment ("Y'a Le Petit Cochon" )when Fernandel and his choir sing a ditty ,some kind of French " old McDonald had a farm".
Never a dull moment and teachers will certainly appreciate the inspector's confining (by mistake) in an insane asylum !