“It’s the bedside film” by Jean Dujardin. For eternity Jean-Paul Belmondo will remain The Magnificent, this secret agent as sublime as he is ridiculous, hero and antihero of the invented parody of James Bond by director Philippe de Broca. For the 50th anniversary of the adventures of Bob Saint Clar aka François Merlin, Carlotta Films has just remastered them in 4K in order to bring them back to life on the big screen from October 18.
The Magnificent that inspired Michel Hazanavicius' OSS 117 has become a benchmark for satirical parody. And we can be sure that the presence of Jean Dujardin in the previous film, who never hid his admiration for Belmondo, is no coincidence. The Oscar-winning actor in 2012 for his performance in The Artist must have taken great pleasure in playing Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, the pastiche of the pastiche of 007, immortalized before him by Bébel himself.
Also read: “In Le Magnifique, Belmondo was a wonderful partner,” says Jacqueline Bisset
The Magnificent by Philippe de Broca in 1973, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jacqueline Bisset, Vittorio Caprioli, Monique Tarbès...
For those under 20 who have not yet had the chance to see the tribulations of the Magnificent, it is useful to summarize in a few lines the absurd scenario imagined by Philippe de Broca. Between Paris and Mexico Jean-Paul Belmondo is transformed into Bob Saint-Clar, a caricatural secret agent, and François Merlin a failed writer. At his side Jacqueline Bisset also plays a dual role: the statuesque Tatiana, also a secret agent, and the charming intellectual Christine, a sociology student. A fantasized and real story, dotted with twists and turns, will eventually bring them together...
To read also "In The Magnificent Belmondo subtly plays an antihero", says Jérôme Wybon
Munificence, sensitivity, fantasy, humor, Philippe's satirical comedy remains a little gem 50 years later. After the disappearance of Belmondo Jacqueline Bisset will look back with emotion on life on the set of Philippe de Broca's film: “I remember, of course, Jean-Paul who was both a wonderful filming partner and also a joyful companion in life. He was a lively person, always funny, who knew how to relax everyone before and during takes.” There is nothing to add to this beautiful praise.