Saturday, November 7, 2009

La valise (1973)

La valise is a funny movie by director Georges Lautner, who I think is very good in making comedy-drama movies. His serious works I have seen are the 2 with Alain Delon: Les seins de glace and Mort d'un pourri, but the rests all have more comedy. Like in Il était une fois un flic, la valise also has Mireille Darc and Michel Constantin.

Jean-Pierre Marielle plays Bloch, an Israeli spy, who takes refuge in the French Embassy in Tripoli. I like the scene where Bloch ruins many TV antennas on those roofs. The people below must be living in tiny rooms. Captain Augier (Michel Constantin) is given task to smuggle Bloch who hides in a diplomatic suitcase out of the country. It seems easy. However, there is a strike at the airport and when they return to the embassy, there has been a bomb. Augier takes the suitcase to a hotel, the very place where Bloch met his lover Françoise (Mireille Darc). Bloch asks Augier to keep an eye on her, but Augier ends up falling in love with her. The problem doesn't stop there, and it seems the suitcase bring bad luck. When the strike is over and Augier, Françoise, and the suitcase are on their way to Paris, the plane is hijacked by Arabs, who will surely kill Bloch if they find him.

The funniest scene is when Jean Lefebvre (the hotel bagagiste) struggles with the suitcase. Also funny is the end of the movie, when we realize that Françoise has enough charm to defeat all those secret agents. I like the lovely music in the movie by Philippe Sarde.

Perhaps the contents of this movie are rather sensitive that the film-maker thought it necessary to put a disclaimer in the beginning of the movie: "This movie is only intended as a distraction. [] Our crew is consists of Christians, Jews, and Moslems. We are friends. We intend to remain so." Oyoyoyoyo....

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