Sunday 18 March 2018

Ace of Aces (1982)

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Jean-Paul Belmondo's films usually seem the same to me (I've mostly seen his Eurocrime/Eurospy stuff and know of his swashbucklers), but this is basically a sort of French Biggles via Raiders (there's an army of Tohts). But with his old trench rival Hitler, played by Gunther "Slugworth" Meisner (which means it is in the same world as the Winds of War), and his sister, also played by Meisner in full on Austrian maiden dress. Like the Prize of Peril, it has Marie France Pisier (who I only really know from The Other Side of Midnight and The French Atlantic Affair). An agreeable, attractive little adventure.  There's a cute bear, a Jewish Short Round-type kid sidekick, a motorcycle army chase, a lederhosen dance scene (Remy Julienne stuntwork) and  a Nazi cuckoo clock. For all my hatred of the Nouvelle Vague, I've taken a real liking to French pop cinema. They can make GREAT adventure films.
Vladimir Cosma's soundtrack is good, hints of his theme for forgotten RTE-coproduced Franco-Irish comedy-drama Roses from Dublin (1981), about a Kerry family of rugby-loving brothers including Colm Meaney.
The other WW2 comedy of the era that Belmondo and Pisier did,  Les Morfalous (1984) isn't as good. It's a silly Foreign Legion romp, more comedy than adventure, and the humour  doesn't translate.

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