During World War II, when their combat aircraft is shot down by the Germans, three English airmen (including Terry-Thomas as Sir Reginald) parachute to the comparative safety of Nazi occupied France. One lands on the scaffold of an amiable painter and decorator, Augustin (Bourvil). Another lands on top of a concert hall and is rescued by the irascible but patriotic conductor Stanislas Lefort (Louis de Funes). The third ends up in the otter enclosure of a Parisian zoo. When they try to help the airmen keep a rendez-vous at the Turkish baths in Paris, Augustin and Stanislas quickly find that they themselves have become targets for the German soldiers. Assisted by the daughter of a puppeteer and an anti-German nun, the two reluctant heroes accompany the three airmen on a reckless trek across France towards the safety of the neutral zone.
Funny French farce + chase movie (in French, English and German) with the late great Terry-Thomas
- La Grande Vadrouille review by PV
The marvellous Terry-Thomas stars in this - and I could watch him in anything and be happy! But apart from his talents, this film is actually really good fun. A little dated, yes - and lots of that farce the French love so much, with lots of gaff-prone people around and some very old visual jokes.
However, it did make me laugh and has a really impressive ending though it does lag a bit in the middle.
I had never heard of this film until I read a newspaper article on war films - and can't remember it ever being on TV.
Think Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines in French - and then add lots of jokes from silent comedy - and that's about it really. And always OK to make fun of the Nazis too.
4 stars at least.
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