From June 26 until May 31, 2022, the Louis de Funès museum in Saint-Raphaël in the Var is devoting its first temporary exhibition to Gérard Oury’s film, Le Corniaud. A tour based around the famous 2CV from the film, this exhibition pays homage in particular to the director.
The common thread of this event: the 2CV. One of the symbols of the French automobile industry, it has made it possible to democratize the automobile. Become a cinema icon, it still inspires dreams.
“The 2CV was supposed to be presented at the 34th Motor Show, but with World War II that didn’t happen. It’s a car with a real historical impact and it also had its role in French cinema”, explains Nora Ferreira, Director of the Museum of Funès.
The Louis de Funès museum in Saint-Raphaël in the Var, therefore exhibits the 2CV of Corniaud. The opportunity to remember the opening scene of this cult film:
This exhibition proposes to go behind the scenes of this popular success, against the backdrop of the unwavering friendship between Louis de Funès and Bourvil.
Le Corniaud is a Franco-Italian-Spanish comedy film directed by Gérard Oury, released in 1965.
His screenplay is inspired by the case of Jacques Angelvin, a French television presenter arrested in the United States in 1962 driving a Buick Invicta from France and in which more than fifty kilograms of pure heroin had been concealed:
Although he proclaimed his innocence, he ended up pleading guilty to benefit from the relief provided for by US law and was sentenced on September 15, 1963, to six years in prison.
In this adaptation, Antoine Maréchal, the “corny” who turns out to be less naive than he seems, is played by Bourvil, then at the height of his career, while Léopold Saroyan, the gangster, is played by Louis de Funès, which at that time experienced a meteoric rise, notably thanks to the films Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez and Fantômas in September and November 1964.
“It will work much less well necessarily…”
If the accident takes place at the beginning of the film, it was actually the last that it was filmed. And this last scene shot on December 7, 1964, behind the Pantheon, is certainly the most famous of the film. Gérard Oury imagined, during the writing of the scenario, a 2 CV which literally breaks open after being struck by a Rolls.
“It pays tribute to the director because it is his first comic film, he worked on the screenplay for over a year”, explains Nora Ferreira, Director of the Museum of Funès. She adds :
We used the original 2 CV from the film, it has been reconstructed, some parts are not period. It’s a real lego!
This accident determines the meeting between Marshal (André Bourvil) and Saroyan (Louis de Funès). The 2 CV driven by Bourvil comes out of the rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève and is stamped by the Rolls driven by Funès.
Pierre Durin, one of the greatest specialists in special effects, designed a Citroën in spare parts, reassembled and kept whole by 250 bolts of explosives. It will dismantle in four seconds. One of the most famous accident scenes in French cinema!
The exhibition will be a real “road movie” in the museum dedicated to Corniaud, highlighting the Bourvil and De Funès tandem, filming locations at the Saint-Raphaël campsite, reconstituted in real Little Italy and finally letters of correspondence
The project to reconstruct the frame of the film through the exhibition will have lasted more than 8 months.
“In search of the Youkounkoun”
In parallel with the exhibition, an off-site session will be organized throughout the summer in the form of a treasure hunt: “In search of the Youkounkoun”.
A backpack, a compass and maps will be made available to participants
The participants will go in search of the famous diamond from the film Youkounkoun in the city center of Saint Raphaël. An activity to practice with family or friends.
Saint-Raphaël: filming location
Two scenes from the “Corniaud” were shot in Saint-Raphaël. The first at the Dramont campsite, where Gérard Oury has reconstructed a “little Italy” and the second facing the Ile d’Or. This mythical scene, in which Ursula takes a night bath as a naturist, was not shot in Italy. The island that can be seen in the distance is L’île d’Or at Cap Dramont, at the foot of L’Estérel. This private island is often compared to the Black Island of Tintin.
Already exhibited in Paris?
The Cinémathèque française in Paris had offered a tribute to Louis de Funès last year. The public could then discover an exhibition with the famous 2 CV! A doubt as to the veracity of the model exhibited this summer remains unresolved. Unlike the Deudeuche!
A course suitable for children
The children, using clues, will have to move from stage to stage in the museum in order to reproduce the route taken by the two protagonists of the film during their trip to France and Italy.
The goal is to find a mystery word …
This fun and educational course allows the youngest to learn notions of geography, history, architecture and heritage.
- Full price: 6 €
- Group rate: € 4 / person (minimum 10 people)
- Free: under 18, students under 26, job seekers and beneficiaries of minimum social benefits, on presentation of valid proof.
- Online ticketing: Saint-Raph boutique