lundi 7 décembre 2009

How To Destroy The reputation of The most Famous Secret Agent of The World ?

This is actually the terrific pre-production title of one of the best French Bond spoof ever produced so far ( on which the newest OSS 117 adventures largely dwelled upon ) .

Directed by Philippe de Broca in 1973 , who's also responsible for ' That Man In Rio ' , another Bond spoof , also starring France n°1 Action Film Hero ...Jean Paul Belmondo !

Readers of this blog are probably aware of Jean Paul Belmondo tenuous connection with James Bond : being the then boy-friend of Ursula Andress in 1967 , he starred as the French Legionnaire at the end of the Casino Royale epic fight sequence ( " The French arrived ! Les-Français-sont-arrivés " ) .

In Le Magnifique ( the original title then became only the tag line ) , Belmondo plays a French Spy novelist , living up his dreams through the incredible adventures of his litterary alter ego , the one & only Bob Sinclair .

The clever editing , which mixes the miserable everyday life of the Paris-based writer ( trying to get a raise from his publisher , falling in love with his student neighbour,etc.,etc ) and the grandiose exploits of the formidable secret agent ( both being played by Belmondo, of course ) makes an excellent entertaining film , with gorgeous scenery and some dry humour ( the fim begins with the most improbable death which ever occurred to a secret agent : found dead , drowned and mauled by Sharks in a ...Phone box . You have to see the film to fully understand the gag ) .

One of the most enjoyable scene of the whole movie is the interrogation sequence were a string of interpreters tries to decipher the mumbling phrases of an Albanian spy .
Since the available Albanian translator only speaks...Romanian , they then use a Romanian interpreter who only speaks Serbian, which in turn is only spoken by a Serbian, who is only understood by a Russian who speaks Czech . A language finally spoken by the French translator ...Love it !

As usual, Belmondo does most of his stunts and clearly enjoys sending up his 'Secret Agent' personna .
Car chases , exotic locals ( Mexico and the Aztec pyramids - lair of the infamous S.P.E.C.T.R.E-like evil organization ) , gun à gogo and the exquisite presence of the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset ( as the obligatory love interest - and also briefly appearing herself in the 67' version of Casino Royale as ' Miss Goodthighs ' ) makes this one a 'must see' for every decent 007 spoofs amateur .

A remake of some sort was miserably produced for French Television in 1999 , ' Bob Le Magnifique ' . Word of advice : to be avoided .

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