1 November 2020 | ulicknormanowen
A riotously funny comedy ,in the grand tradition of Richard Pottier 's "fanfare d'amour " (1935) ,the German remake of which would inspire Wilder/Diamond for their celebrated "some like it hot" (1959)
To escape from the owner of a boarding-house to whom they owe a lot of money and to latch onto their uncle's hidden treasure , two just demobilized soldiers take refuge on the late relative's farm where help is wanted ;as the new owner demands a couple ,they gamble for their role : lucky Pierre will be the husband ,and Jacques the wife (Jacqueline).
Gilbert Gil as the hubby has plenty of go ,and Robert Dhéry is irresistible as the spouse , in a performance devoid of vulgarity, favorably comparing with Jack Lemmon in the American classic.On this farm ,everything can happen ,even (you read well) the end of the world.The farmer (Saturnin Fabre),a scientist , is always talking knowing chemistry ,most of his lines are impossible to decipher ,his orders impossible to carry out .His associate (Jean Tissier) falls in love with Pierre's "wife" while the "husband " woos the haughty farmer's daughter who treats him like a servant and reminds him that he is a married man .
On the farm , they do scientific agriculture,and the "laboratory " paraphernalia seems out of an Ed Wood's sci-fi movie; handled by the new servants,all the machines go mad in a memorable scene .
The arrival of Jacqueline , Jacques' s true sister ,adds to the madness of the situation at a moment when brother does not know whether he's male or female anymore .
Maurice Cam 's directing is effective ,and makes us forget it's based on a play ; it's a 85 min movie ,but there's never a dull moment with an excellent trick: the mad scientist ,trying to turn lead into gold (if it does not work ,we all vanish into thin air), unwittingly helps the two pals to find back their inheritance.
Guilty pleasure ?I don't care! Pleasure ,full stop.