C'est pas parce qu'on n'a rien à dire qu'il faut fermer sa gueule! (1975) Poster

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Cult silliness
gtran18 October 1999
French cinema has a long tradition low-budget silly movies where we can imagine the director, the writer and the actors deciding to shoot the movie after a fine meal in a good restaurant. There used to be lots of movies like this, with a script reduced to a couple of sullen jokes, poor lighting and a bunch of second-rate actors. These movies were so cheap they actually made money, and the crew could pay the rent until the next one, and the next restaurant. Most of these pieces of art haven't survived in the public memory, but occasionally one of them still pop up on prime-time TV and they manage to evoke fond memories from the viewers. This is one of these movies.

It's a sort of spoof on caper movies, with two con artists trying to break in the Bank of France through a hole of the subway toilets... But for this they have to hide from the lady who runs the place and use a lots of subterfuges to get into the bathrooms and dig the hole. I like this movie. Because of its incredible array of lesser-known actors, who did hundred of movies of the same ilk. Because you can spot some actors that will later become famous. Because in these cheap movies the authors are so little concerned by the rules of normal cinema that surreal things tend to appear randomly (like the dignified African businessman who crosses the set followed by a dozen of white carriers). Because it's filmed in a realistic, non glamorous Paris, much more like I remember it from this period than you can see it in art movies like Bertolucci's `Last tango'. Because, though full of toilet humor, some of the dialogue still makes me laugh. Because, if this movie pops up again on TV, I'll watch it again.
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10/10
Excellent film!
csiegwart8 August 2007
This is an excellent comedy! The movie is not pretentious, not complicated; its aim is just to be very funny. No need for any special effects, no colorful exotic traveling scenes, no noisy explosions, no car races or spectacular accidents and of course not the slightest of those low-level bang-bang gunning or kicking violence shows. Just the perfect play of top actors that keeps you tied to the movie from the very first to the very last second without even a small break to get your breath back from laughing. It is also to be said that two of the four main actors were already very famous for their talent at this time. This is the kind of comedy performance that today's directors and actors are just not able to deliver anymore...

Note: the film must be seen in original French language version! Translations are more or less impossible and all sound awful.
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5/10
Need fluent French to enjoy this one
salmig9928 February 2013
It is rather ironical that all the ambitious camera work and creative editing of the French "Nouvelle Vague" directors--some would probably use less favorable epithets--was followed in the late 70s & 80s by a spate of low budget comedies, many of which would involve members of the "Troupe du Splendid" with such talented new faces as Gérard Jugnot, Thierry Lhermitte, Michel Blanc, or Christian Clavier. The "Les Bronzés" series is probably the best known example of the genre.

But let's not forget that back in the 60s the French public at large did not take all that much interest in the likes of Godard, Truffaut or Chabrol and were a lot more eager to line up in front of theaters in order to watch spoof film noir offerings like "Les Tontons Flingueurs" or traditional comedies such as "La Grande Vadrouille".

"C'est pas parce qu'on a rien à dire..." was released in 1975 and marks the transition between the older generation with household names such as Bernard Blier and Jean Lefèvre playing the main parts while the upcoming generation here represented by Jugnot and Lhermitte only briefly appear but would soon become favorites of the French public in their own right.

Interestingly, another protagonist of note in this movie, the "Dame Pipi" who is in charge of the public bathroom where most of the action takes place, is played by Tsilla Chelton (of "Tatie Danielle" fame) who taught an acting class at the time, and the Troupe du Splendid were among her students.

As to the movie per se, do not expect anything memorable, but the dialogs are consistently funny... (trust Blier, Lefèvre, and Serrault of course to deliver them in a convincing manner)... Just keep in mind that the whole thing would be quite difficult to translate into English. I suspect that adequate fluency in the French language and a fair understanding of Parisian slang--as well as a thorough knowledge of French popular culture--are prerequisites in order to enjoy this unpretentious little movie to the full.
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