Released in 1973 in French theaters, The magnificent is an older movie than the ones we’re used to discussing here. But now, the feature film by Philippe de Broca is a “classic” that deserves our attention.
With his pitch sympathetic and catchy and Jean-Paul Belmondo headlining, The magnificent does he have what it takes to seduce you? Is the film to see or re-watch this Sunday? Answer below.
- The magnificent can be seen on Sunday June 13 at 9:05 p.m. on C8.
The synopsis of the film
The writer François Merlin tries somehow to complete the adventures of his hero, the invincible spy Bob Saint-Clar. But where the latter succeeds in everything he undertakes, the author has a hard time keeping up with his alter ego. He then imagines the adventures of the invincible spy by attributing to the protagonists of the adventure the features of those they rub shoulders with in reality. So begins an incredible adventure.
Our opinion on Le Magnifique
Even more than 45 years after its release, The magnificent continues to produce its small effect. It is not a masterpiece, a feature film whose brilliance is palpable at every moment or a writing marvel. On the other hand, it gives off an energy, a pep and a humor which is a pleasure to see.
Long before OSS 117, Philippe de Broca already decided to parody spy films. The result is an effective mix of genres, a thrilling happy “mess” despite the limitations of its script. We don’t appreciate The magnificent for the smoothness of its scenario, even if it is not bad for all that. It is the efficiency of the parody that strikes first, the agility with which he uses the canons of the genre to mock them in his own way.
In the main role, Jean-Paul Belmondo is perfect, in the skin of François Merlin as in that of Bob Saint-Clar. Sometimes cabotin, sometimes puppet, the actor has a lot of fun with a communicative good humor. Obviously, the two characters don’t have much to do with it. The first lives a mundane and rather sad existence in his seedy apartment. The second, a sublime spy with unparalleled skill, goes where his duty calls him and faces many dangers.
The film does a very good job of integrating this duality into its narrative. The contrast is absurd, but it gives charm to the Magnificent. Merlin is the exact opposite of Saint-Clar and the film takes advantage of these differences to fully play the parody card. One of the realities is dull, but human and believable. The other makes you dream by giving the film the dose of action it needs.
Overall the pace is good, despite a few lengths and an excessive ending. Otherwise, the gags are linked and we gladly have fun on the quirky side of the Magnificent, like the adventures of the hero imagined by François Merlin. The seductive spy aligns the lines, each more caricatural than the other and multiplies the stunts. His writer alter ego makes people dream less, but he has the merit of having an overflowing imagination.
If you’ve seen it before, this is a good opportunity to rewatch The magnificent thursday evening. It’s still entertainment worth seeing, even decades later. If you haven’t yet had the chance to immerse yourself in the adventures of Bob Saint-Clar, now is the time to do so. The magnificent shouldn’t disappoint you.
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