Top Ten Movies Starring Louis de Funes

Martin_Canine
Even though he's not well known in the US, this French comedy actor (most famous movies are from the 60s and 70s) has a huge cult following in several European countries. Several of his movies are classics and are often quoted.

The Top Ten

1 Oscar

There is also a 1991 American remake starring Sylvester Stallone. I adore both movies, but the humor and the background are widely different: De Funes plays a wealthy business man who tries to look powerful and serious all the way through, while actually his family and workers turn his life upside down driving him more and more crazy, while Stallone is an ex-Mafia boss trying to live an honest life now, but again loses his mind with all the mad things happening around him.
The French original is one of my all time favorite comedy movies. - Martin_Canine

2 Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob

What this movie manages is to be a ride filled with lots of goofy laughter while actually delivering much social commentary: Louis de Funes plays a racist Christian who is taken hostage by a Muslim revolutionary, and they both disguise as Jewish rabbis to hide in the Jewish community.
The movie never gets serious, it stays a parade of slapstick jokes and wit throughout but still delivers the message that all religions can live together in peace and harmony. You can't get a message across any better than with laughter, can you? - Martin_Canine

3 L'Aile Ou La Cuisse

Louis de Funes plays a famous and feared restaurant critic whose archenemy is a tycoon of convenience foods, who continues buying popular and acclaimed restaurants. The other subplot involves around him considering retiring for his son to continue his popular restaurant critic book series, but his son actually wants to be a circus clown. - Martin_Canine

Cool list, Martin_Canine. Of course your selection touches me, because I always loved Louis de Funes and grew up with his movies (often rerun on T.V.). He was often imitated, but never equalled.

In L'Aile ou la Cuisse, his son was played by Coluche who was also a legendary humorist in France and who launched the idea of the "Restaurants du Coeur" (les Restos du coeur) charity, which provides food packages and hot meals to the needy (not only homeless but also all those with a low or very low income). - Lotuscandy

4 Le gendarme en balade

The fourth installment of the "Gendarm" film series, in which Louis de Funes plays his signature role as a gendarm. In this part of the series, de Funes and the other 5 gendarms get retired early, but since they only lived for their jobs they just can't do different than secretly put on their uniforms again. I like this installment best, it's pretty goofy and silly and has lots to laugh. - Martin_Canine

5 Le Tatoué

Louis de Funes plays an arts dealer who discovers a tattoo by Modigliani on the back of an old military Foreign Legion soldier (played by the respected actor Jean Gabin) and wants to buy it from him. He promises to renovate his house if he gets the tattoo - not knowing he is a count and lives in a huge ruinous castle. - Martin_Canine

6 Jo

Louis de Funes plays a desperate man who gets blackmailed by a gangster named Jo and plans to murder them. Even though he ultimately decides to not kill them, they are accidentally killed when de Funes throws the gun on the floor in the dark. But to his shock, the man he killed is not Jo, but a complete stranger. Now he is busy both trying to find out who he murdered and hiding the body.

At least over here, this is usually regarded as his best movie. - Martin_Canine

7 La Zizanie

Louis de Funes plays a factory owner and major who sold three thousand units of his newest invention to a Japanese company, only to realize his factory is too small. Now he has to convert his own house into a factory much to the dislike of his independent and nature loving wife. - Martin_Canine

8 Le gendarme et les extra-terrestres

This is the craziest movie in the "Gendarm" franchise. While all of the movies are slapstick comedies about a troup of policemen and nothing more, here all of a sudden aliens land in St. Tropez and only some of the gendarms have seen them.
This movie is scifi trash at its funniest and does not in any way fit into the series. But it still has that wonderful Louis de Funes humor. - Martin_Canine

9 Le gendarme se marie

The third installment of the "Gendarm" series. Louis de Funes' signature role as the gendarm (French policemen in the countryside) Ludovic [Balduin in the German dub] is also the introduction of Josepha, his love interest. And well, the title already implies where it goes. - Martin_Canine

10 La Grande Vadrouille

This film is irresistible, the plot takes place during WW2 and reunites Louis de Funes and another french legend, Bourvil.
For over forty years, until the release of Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis in 2008, La Grande Vadrouille was the most successful French film in France, topping the box office with over 17,200,000 cinema admissions. It remains the third most successful film ever in France, of any nationality, behind the 1997 version of Titanic and Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, both of which were seen by over 20,000,000 cinemagoers. (thanks wiki) - Lotuscandy

The Contenders

11 L'homme orchestre

Louis de Funes plays the manager of an all-female dancing group (not an orchestra as it is said), and tries to prohibit them from having contact with men. This movie's dramaturgy is a horrible mess and it feels like parts have been cut out - but hell, it has some really funny scenes. Especially the trashy soundtrack and the scene where de Funes tries to ruin a dancer's relationship with a fake phone call. - Martin_Canine

12 Delusions of Grandeur

English title for La Folie des Grandeurs.
Very free, parodic adaptation of Victor Hugo's play Ruy Blas: A tax collector of the 17th century Spanish court (Louis de Funès) tries to retrieve his job with the help of his valet (Yves Montand).
Bourvil was planned to play the valet, but unfortunately he died of bone cancer before filming started. - Lotuscandy

13 The Sucker

English title for Le Corniaud.
Another great collaboration between Louis de Funes and Bourvil in this gangster parody, involving the Youkounkoun (just love the word), "the largest diamond in the world". - Lotuscandy

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