Friday, 26 January 2018
La Grande Vadrouille
During the occupation during the World War II, six british pilots of the Royal Air Force got their plane shot by the Germans when they were flying over Paris, 3 of them, a chief and two pilots end up meeting French people who agree to help them to meet at the "turkish bath" thanks to their code name "tea for two", a famous english song of the time. Then, through several adventures and a lot of humor, trying to join back their country helped by the conductor of an orchestra, a building painter a young woman, a holy sister, and an hotel keeper, they will show us the reality the occupied France and the relationships between this country and Great Britain.
The movie, made in 1966 , is indeniably a masterpiece. Through a very simple sense of humor, Gérard Oury manages to express a criticism of Hitler and the nazis as well as the war itself through the characters of the british. The movie is also making fun of the British by caricaturing them even in their names, Indeed, one of them is called Macintosh, they drink and talk only about tea. The movie plays also on the different opinions within the France as well as the French stereotypes especially through the characters of Stanislas (played by Louis de Funès), the pretentious conductor of an orchestra, and Augustin, the humble building painter.
However, the plot is quite repetitive and the events are predictable since the comic of the movie mainly relies on quiproquos or caricatures. Also, the story is pretty unrealistic because the caracters always manage to avoid being arrested by the Germans while it would actually never happen that way. They also always meet people willing to help them such as the holy sister ir the hotel keeper. Nevertheless, the movie is still a French classic and it's still very comic and instructive at the same time.