Louis de Funès

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A Tribute to Louis de Funès (1914 – 1983)

When I think about the greatest figures in the world of cinema, the name of Louis de Funès always emerge in my mind along with Charlie Chaplin.

Do you know him?
How familiar are you with his movies?

Please, share your memories, when do you heard about him for the very first time, did you enjoy his works...etc.
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Society ennobler, last seen in the Medici's Florence.



"How tall is King Kong ?"
Oh.

Well, he's awesome. Of course a legend in France, where current comedians (such as Alexandre Astier) still mention him as their inspiration. He was a genius in comedic timing, capable to trigger hilarity with the most subtle reactions as well as the most outrageous ones. He was also a very classy person. Such big names are usually terribly pretentious and self-serving, and De Funès had, on the contrary, a very global and generous vision of his movies, meaning that he truly let the other actors shine, giving them room to breathe and to get screen space, realizing that they are important to the film's overall quality. Which makes for very well balanced movies. For instance, he insistend on Coluche having his name displayed as big as hos own on the poster for L'Aile ou la Cuisse, an echo from the time where he was himself playing with a (back then) bigger star, Bourvil, who was insisting on the same equality on the the poster of Le Corniaud. And this, even though him and Coluche had very different personalities and worldviews. This wasn't affecting mutual respect.

Of course, he also ended up in many movies where his acting was the only quality the producer and filmmaker were capitalizing on, so, lots of bad movies. But also a lot of truly brilliant ones. The most important ones being :

Le Corniaud and La grande vadrouille, both with André Bourvil.

La soupe aux choux, a magnificent adaptation of René Fallet's masterpiece.

L'aile ou la cuisse, his movie with Coluche.

Jo is also great, although a bit more theatrical (being the adaptation of a theater play).

I have also some nostalgic fondness for the first few (the first two? the first three?) of his Gendarme de St Tropez series, but those very quickly devolved to cheap farces relying only on his grimaces. And I love the Fantomas series, because I love cheesy evil genius characters, but they also ended in complete embarrassment.

Anyway, he's an absolute legend, and one that deserves to be. the more I've learnt about him, the more my respect was increasing.
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Get working on your custom lists, people !



The Gendarme of Saint-Tropez Series

(I've created these pages dedicated to the series:
The Gendarme of Saint-Tropez
)

These are the movies of the series, listed chronologically:
  • 1964 - Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez (aka The Troops of St. Tropez)
  • 1965 - Le Gendarme à New York (aka Gendarme in New York)
  • 1968 - Le Gendarme se marie (aka The Gendarme Gets Married)
  • 1970 - Le Gendarme en balade (aka The Gendarme Takes Off)
  • 1979 - Le Gendarme et Les Extra-Terrestres (aka The Gendarme and the Extra-Terrestrials)
  • 1982 - Le Gendarme et les gendarmettes (aka The Gendarme and the Gendarmettes)





Do you know him?
How familiar are you with his movies?
Always enjoyed his movies as a kid. They were on Dutch TV all the time back in the day along with Benny Hill and Bud Spencer & Terence Hill films.





La Grande Vadrouille (1966)

Probably one of the top real comedies in cinema.
De Funès and Bourvil are outstanding here. The screenplay is superb.
It is a must movie for film fans.



Well, the only one of his films I've seen is "The Mad Adventures Of" Rabbi" Jacob." I declare it to be one of the funniest films ever made!