A frothy French farce, The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe is a classic madcap comedy about espionage, surveillance and mistaken identity. When Francois (Pierre Richard), an unsuspecting violinist, is misidentified as a superspy by national intelligence, outrageous antics ensue.
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The Tall Blond Man with One Black ShoeDirected byYves Robert
Pierre Richard, bumbling beautifully along like a Gallic Rüdiger Vogler blessed with the sublime goofiness of Peter Sellers, owns this timeless masterfarce, a film of perennial interest to gracefully oblivious violinists and cultivated enthusiasts of higher horseplay everywhere.
As Jeremy Carr writes: "...the film is an increasing volley of duplicity and modified perception...a cleverly crafted ruse, a straight-faced farce that incorporates most everything one associates the cinematic sub-genre and slyly points out the subtle silliness inherent in its recurrent conventions". Indeed.
MUBI's description of this film is spot on. Feeling truly like a blend of Mel Brooks and Peter Sellers while all the while incredibly French, the film finds ways to keep the humor flowing, no hesitating to try any joke that came to the writer's mind. It never manages to delve past the surface to any keen insights and remaining a piece of its time. The films feels limited in its potential scope.
Divertissement sympathique qui cherche à faire rire intelligemment le spectateur parvenant souvent à atteindre son enviable but. Entre le meilleur et le pire, sans trop faire la fine bouche, cela se regarde pour la drôle de prestation de Pierre Richard, totalement dépassé par les événements qui l'assaillent... www.cinefiches.com
Thank you, Mubi! What a hoot. I was thinking it clearly deserves a sequel, and vwahlah! there it is, ready and waiting. Hope you screen it soon!! Amazing opening credits. Seems like it must've been inspirational for Michael Richards. And the magpie Coen brothers surely borrowed the character of Maurice, reincarnated him as Marty, and gave him dance quintet at Crane Jackson's Fountain Street Theater.
A bit dated and tame by today's standards of outrageous farce, Robert's film is still considered a classic romp due to its escalating degrees of silliness mixed with spy-vs.-spy paranoia and misdirection. A great cast makes this hold up, including Pierre Richard, a noted director and actor; the great character actor Bernard Blier and sexy blonde Mireille Darc, Alain Delon's former companion and onscreen siren.