The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1972)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Errors, Spy Comedy, Farce  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - France  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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In this wacky French spy comedy, the chief of the French secret service wants very much to keep his job and stoops to chicanery to prevent rivals from closing in. He points to a man chosen at random from a crowd of people (Pierre Richard), and identifies him to his rival as an important spy who must be followed at all costs. In fact, he is François, a bumbling, good-natured musician. However, his lack of any notable spy-like failings only serves to convince his watchers that he is more skillful and professional than they. At every turn, they redouble their efforts, leading to many absurd situations. For instance, they send a beautiful woman to try to get his secrets from him. Instead, convinced of his innocence, she falls in love with him. This extremely popular film became actor Pierre Richard's signature role, and he often used the character's name in other films. This was one of the first successful screenplays by Francis Veber, who went on to write the screenplay for La Cage Aux Folles and many other successful comedies.

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Keywords

mistaken-identity, on-the-run, violinist, spy, espionage, music, Secret-Service