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» » Les grandes gueules (1965)

Short summary

An ex-con with ulterior motives convinces the struggling inheritor of a sawmill to use convicts as affordable lumberjacks.

Visa de contôle cinénatographique ( France ) #30332

Edouard Molinaro was first considered to direct the film.

The sawmill seen on the screen was rebuilt on the site of Cellet after its owner - just like Bourvil in the story - set fire to it, then burnt down again for the final scenes.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Duzshura
    I saw the movie for the first time when I was 22. Since then I've seen it at least a dozen times -- over a period of over 20 years, every time I find new things in it: friendship and love and "life is not fair" and there is nothing we can do about it except try to do our best. + 2 marvelous actors who, alone, a worth seeing the movie... Lino Ventura, as usual, a very forceful personality, and Bourvil, for once, is not in a comic capacity, two people from worlds apart and yet they come to form this unexpected and unlikely friendship because ultimately, they are the Good Guys in a world full with "model citizens" performing dirty tricks. The film is dynamic, it leaves you breathless
  • comment
    • Author: Uaoteowi
    With "les Grandes gueules" ,Robert Enrico made a volte face:whereas his first works ' actors were completely unknown,he 's got two French megastars Bourvil and Lino Ventura.

    Someone who would have only seen Enrico's two first efforts might easily think that this Enrico is another director an homonym."Au coeur de LA Vie" his first film was a masterpiece ,so ahead of its time it continues to fascinate the directors ("Jacob's ladder" was clearly inspired by "La Riviere du Hibou " aka "An Occurrence at owl creek bridge" ).Although not as ambitious in scope as it,"la Belle Vie" was anti-commercial stuff.

    Actually "les Grandes Gueules" is Robert Enrico as the audience may have to like him: manly friendship,fighting against something hostile. Jose Giovanni provided Enrico with the screenplay and the most amazing thing is that the villains either do not intervene (the big sawmill's boss's men )very often in a 2hours+ movie or do not show up (Ventura's enemy) at all.Few women :Mick and his girlfriend's love affair is doomed.Marie Dubois's part is too underwritten to allow her to shine in a man's story.

    Finally,"Les Grandes gueules" is a blueprint for Enrico's next movie ,"les Aventuriers" which succeeded at depicting male friendship,introducing an endearing female character and telling a really absorbing tale (again written by Jose Giovanni)
  • comment
    • Author: ladushka
    This is a typical excellent french movie with two of the best french actors : lino ventura and bourvil. The story is good, the acting is perfect and the atmosphere of the film is very pleasant; My advice : one of the best french adventure movies
  • comment
    • Author: Alsantrius
    Les Grandes Gueules benefits from Robert Enrico's gusto for location shooting plus José Giovanni's talent for describing brawny he-male relationships. Thus the setup is great with those great French actors Bourvil and Lino Ventura. Then the supporting cast is pretty soon rounded up to strengthen the atmosphere but from there the movie is freewheeling, dragging its footage between subplots: the competition with the "monopolistic" sawmill, the tension at home between the tough guys, a touch of MacGuffin suspense and the vaguely romantic subplots.

    What's enjoyable is the atmosphere of male camaraderie and the Vosges forest setting but there's not enough in the plot for the movie to last over 2 hours. What is more Lino Ventura has always been at a loss when it comes to playing a romantically involved character, let alone driving sexual chemistry. All in all an immature movie playing with its toys and friends until toys and friends are gone.
  • comment
    • Author: HelloBoB:D
    The two main actors in this film, Lino Ventura and Bourvil could indeed lead the prospective viewer to actually believe he/she was in for something exciting. Erreur !! I'm sorry to say, at over 2 hours this really was one of the most laborious and soporific adventure films I have seen. Even the beauty of of the Vosges mountains and the lovely face of Marie Dubois can't save the day. The main problem is the plot, which is hopelessly limited. Bourvil returns to the Vosges mountains, in Eastern France to take over the sawmill run by his late father. One of the locals want's to buy out the said sawmill but Bourvil holds out on his own ( he's not a Norman for nothing !!! ). But he needs workers. Enter Lino Ventura and a friend, recently out of prison and looking for work. They get taken on by Bourvil and get other prisoners on parole to work there. This is not just kindess on the part of Ventura, he hopes to get one of his deadly enemies from prison to work there so that he can exact revenge and kill him.

    The blessed chap in question never actually turns up, we don't know why and Ventura never accomplishes his project. Bourvil ends up setting fire to the saw mill and throwing in the towel. This totally uninteresting little plot wastes 2 hours of your time and you really wonder where the scriptwriter was intending to go with all that. It's really a shame such great actors/actresses wasting their time on a corny plot like this.

    Picture quality is passable for mid sixties but I found the colors to be rather washed out and over whitish. Rather a shame when you know that the area in question ( I've been there myself and can vouch for its scenic beauty ) is so beautiful.

    After about 30 minutes of watching this film you begin to realize that the whole this is starting to s...a....g !! At the end, it just fizzles out and you wonder why you wasted two hours of your time on it. This is one I CERTAINLY won't have the courage to watch a second time !!
  • comment
    • Author: Kagrel
    A strange film. Riddled with clumsiness: fight scenes with punches missing by a mile and ridiculuous Foley work using interior echo for outdoor action; people working as lumberjacks wearing clean shirts at the end of the day, etc. etc.

    Funny too that the actor Bourvil, best known as a comedian, comes across as

    slightly mean, taciturn and unpleasant in a role obviously written to be warm- hearted. An aging Lino Ventura is frankly embarrassing as the romantic lead,

    and his lazy gambit of instilling drama by lighting up yet another Gauloise or Gitane (count 'em!) should have been jumped on and stubbed out by the

    director. The plot seems to borrow hugely from American films, and there is little local flavour. The bizarre highlight is the gang of convicts letting their hair down on a fairground carousel, gaily tossing confetti at each other, followed by the dramatic denouement when one of the convicts refuses to let a rival have a turn on a fairground game! Zut alors!
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Bourvil Bourvil - Hector Valentin
    Lino Ventura Lino Ventura - Laurent
    Marie Dubois Marie Dubois - Jackie Keller
    Jess Hahn Jess Hahn - Nénesse
    Jean-Claude Rolland Jean-Claude Rolland - Mick
    Hénia Suchar Hénia Suchar - Christiane
    Reine Courtois Reine Courtois - Yvonne Didier
    Nick Stephanini Nick Stephanini - Lucien Therraz
    Roger Jacquet Roger Jacquet - Capester
    Marc Eyraud Marc Eyraud - L'éducateur
    François Vibert François Vibert - Keller
    Mick Besson Mick Besson - Raoul
    Michel Charrel Michel Charrel - Cuirzepas
    Michel Constantin Michel Constantin - Skida
    Paul Crauchet Paul Crauchet - Pélissier
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