Agent 38-24-36 (1964) Poster

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Highly Entertaining
Beanamir8214 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I actually watched this for a French class, so I was getting the original dialogue, and not a translated English version. On that note, I didn't even know Anthony Perkins spoke French, much less acted in French movies, until I caught the advert for the film on TV5's website. I think about half of my joy actually came out of that--that and the fact that it's a French movie set in London. The rest of my eight stars come from the incredibly stupid and cheesy dialogue (which I loved), especially the scene in which Harry-Perkins' character-tells Penelope-Bardot's character-that he is a spy, and another man is, too, and that he has lied to her. She responds, "I love spies: they're tall, and handsome, and smart, like you!" After watching the Maxwell Smart sort of demeanor that Perkins gives off, that line made me laugh like crazy. The ending makes it even better, in retrospect. The reason I've got a spoiler tag on this comment is because of the particular scene I absolutely have to mention. Harry is, at one point, absolutely sure that Penelope's grandmother has been murdered; he runs to her house, and runs to the grandmother's room. He stops short at the door, horrified, as he sees a pair of feet sticking out from behind a corner. At this point, we know the grandmother's got to live, because she's witty and fun, and let's face it, this isn't a real spy film. The only thing I could think of during this scene was Norman Bates parading around the basement of the Bates Motel, with a butcher knife, his mother's dress, and a wig, screaming at the cops. I had to stop the movie to get a hold of myself. Any fan of Maxwell Smart would enjoy this movie--get the French version with English subtitles, and it will be all the better.
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wrvisser-leusden-nl15 January 2004
Imagine yourself back in the cold war-period of half a century ago. Add to it your liking of the dry, tongue-in-cheek English humor, a little slapstick, and 'Une ravissante idiote' will entertain you well.

Its story is about a Soviet spy circle in London, trying to steal a file with valuable military information from a vault. A paper file, to be precise, as personal computers do not exist back in 1964. Anthony Perkins is the spy circle's main tool to obtain it, Brigitte Bardot acting as his more than willing helper .... sorry folks, don't get any ideas: there is no nudity involved in this movie.

All in all, 'Une ravissante idiote' gives us a well-built, consistent story, and fine acting from everbody involved. Both Perkins and Bardot do well in this light comedy.
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shepardjessica-14 November 2004
This French film (English subtitles)is curiously lacking in depth, but I didn't hate it. Anthony Perkins is amusing, Brigitte Bardot is sweet and beautiful (as always) as the slightly simple-minded girl of Perkins' dreams.

Strangely paced with varying acting styles, this mid-60's spy romp rolls along with no real purpose.

A 5 out of 10. Best performance = Anthony Perkins. Even many of the words in the subtitles are spelled wrong. I haven't seen that too many times. Hard to REALLY recommend this, but if you're a BB fan or enjoy watching Perkins play a befuddled young man, you'll find something in this flick.
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Great chemistry between Bardot and Perkins.
turboshark11 May 2007
I bought Une Ravissante Idiote to get a chance to see Anthony Perkins speak French - while his accent sounds fairly Anglo-American, it's not too noticeable. Perkins is Harry Compton, a spy set out on a mission to steal some confidential papers from Sir Reginald Dumfrey. Harry's in love with Penelope Lightfeather, whom is coincidentally the seamstress for Dumfrey's wife. Penelope is the inspiration for the title The Ravishing Idiot, as she is not exactly bright. At all.

Brigitte Bardot does a good job as Penelope, as she perfectly captures her aloofness and naiveté. However, she has this terribly strange laugh. That aside it's plain to see why Harry Compton is simply head over heels for Penelope, she's gorgeous and sweet - despite her lack of intelligence. He thinks to himself "She is an idiot, but you love her. You always wanted an English family. She is not English..."

The humor in this film is odd, and just plain silly. But Anthony Perkins is absolutely delightful and charismatic, and the situations in this film are interesting. A nice film to see if you are fans of Bardot and Perkins who work well together (albeit not getting along off-screen), but otherwise I'm reluctant to recommend it to the latter.
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I expected a bit more from a movie with Brigitte Bardot and Anthony Perkins.
bensonmum21 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I expected a bit more from a movie with Brigitte Bardot and Anthony Perkins. They're both okay, but they just don't have much to do. The script lets them down at every opportunity. The Ravishing Idiot (or Agent 38-24-36) is the story of a bumbling spy played by Perkins. He enlists the aid of a dipsy Bardot to help him steal some secret plans. The comedy is, for the most part, lame. There are moments I enjoyed, but these scenes were too few and too far between. Anytime you rely on speeding up the film so the actors will move fast as a basis for comedy, you're in trouble. And The Ravishing Idiot uses this type of trick far too often.

The Ravishing Idiot isn't the total waste of time I've made it out to be. There are a few scenes that were quite funny. The bit where Bardot and Perkins lose the plans over and over at the party was actually quite good. Also, it's interesting to see Perkins doing a film in French. I'm no expert, but I thought he did a good job.
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one of the first comedies by Edouard Molinaro
happytrigger-64-39051715 November 2017
"Une Ravissante Idiote" is the third comedy directed by Edouard Molinaro, who first directed shorts, then excellent Films Noirs. And for this comedy, Molinaro gets a great cast with Bardot and Perkins, it must have been a new experience, also shooting some scenes in London. Bardot and Perkins is nice couple, they work well together. But the script is not enough well written, some scenes are poor and some are brilliant, thanks to the speedy way of shooting by Molinaro, mostly in the slapstick scenes. It's a fine comedy, but should have been much better.
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Not One of Perkins' Better Films
mistermycroft9 March 2002
Arguably the worst Tony Perkins' film that he did prior to the 1980s, this "comedy" in which he plays a bumbling spy trying to retrieve a file for the Russians concerning NATO military tactics, with the help of Bardot, is neither funny nor interesting. Don't bother with it.
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Pretty dreadful....
MartinHafer30 September 2011
The films of Brigitte Bardot are, for the most part, a study in what might have been. What I mean is that although she was a gorgeous woman, she rarely was given much in the way of material in her films. Mostly, her films were like a steady diet of meringue--very sweet but not very satisfying if this is all you have to eat! It's a real shame, as she had a magnetic screen presence. Perhaps her having been given so many fluff roles is why she chose to retire so young--at only 39--and still an incredibly beautiful woman.

"Agent 38-24-36" is bad even by the standards of a lot of these fluff films. It makes little sense, has VERY broad acting and writing and makes the least of its talented stars. Although the film is clearly filmed in Paris, the film is supposed to be about British spies in the UK. So what British actors did they pick to play in this film? None. Instead, the main British leading man is...Anthony Perkins! He seems about as British as John Wayne or Nipsy Russell. And the rest of the 'Brits' are all French men and women!

This silly casting, however, is not the major problem with this dopey spy farce. The writing is pretty awful and some scenes make you cringe at their dopiness. Try watching Perkins in slapstick scenes like when he's chasing the dog in the restaurant or chasing a runaway vacuum (uggh--it's bad)! Dreadful is the word for this.

The plot, if you care, is about a British attempt to pass off fake secrets to the Russians. But, Perkins and his girlfriend (Bardot) are just too stupid to get that right. None of it is the least bit interesting or engaging and the director did nothing to make anything out of the material--using stupid gags like speeding up the film (ha, ha) and having the characters behave as if they'd recently been lobotomized. Dull and a complete waste of talents.
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Largely a misfire - and it didn't have to be
gridoon201922 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers

I can think of a simple way to make "The Ravishing Idiot" better: have the final twist (Bardot is actually a secret agent herself - and a capable one at that!) occur much earlier in the movie. Don't limit her to playing (quite well, it's true) the lovable ditz until the last 3 minutes, turn her smart sooner. As it is, we spend nearly the entire running time watching Perkins (whose character is not the brightest bulb either) and Bardot trying, and failing, to accomplish a mission that we know is pointless; the film is too long and there aren't enough laughs in it, although some of the visual gags do work. Also, given that "The Ravishing Idiot" was made in the liberated mid-1960s and that Bardot herself was at the prime of her sensuousness, it seems rather coy about showing "too much" of her - I'm not saying she had to be naked, but she didn't have to be covered up from head to toe for about 80% of the movie, either! ** out of 4.

And a warning about the Region 2 DVD: the subtitling seems to have been done by well-intentioned amateurs, so it has a number of spelling mistakes, and it sometimes disappears far too quickly from the screen.
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