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The Tontons flingueurs are 60 years old and, we must admit, it’s still brutal

“Brutal, a blonde comac, a gugusse from Montauban, grisbi, the apple juice guy”.

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The Tontons flingueurs are 60 years old and, we must admit, it’s still brutal

“Brutal, a blonde comac, a gugusse from Montauban, grisbi, the apple juice guy”... Tontons flingueurs aficionados know by heart and repeat over and over again the stylized outbursts and other slang expressions from the film made by Georges Lautner. On November 27, this cult parody thriller, inspired by Albert Simonin's novel Grisbi or not grisbi, celebrated its sixtieth anniversary, without a wrinkle.

If the film owes a lot to the tight and rhythmic direction of Lautner - who loved to bring to life the lines said by actors as exceptional as Lino Ventura, Francis Blanche, Bernard Blier and others - it also owes a large part of its success to the devotion of the “tontonmaniacs” admirers of the dialogues of Michel Audiard, who succeeded in making thugs speak almost like men of the world. With him “the man from the Pampas knew (sometimes) how to remain courteous”.

Also read: Les Tontons flingueurs, subject of study at the Sorbonne, from the fool to Descartes

The phrasing of the “little cyclist” did not always please the critics, especially when the film was released in 1963. But for several years, in the face of undeniable success, the most distinguished French academics, those from the Sorbonne, have ended up trying to analyze the secrets of these Audiardian replicas distilled with speckled foils or not according to the needs of the scene. We know, for example, that Michel Audiard chose to write short dialogues, like a “puff-pif” for Lino Ventura, while he preferred to give long tirades to Bernard Blier, “the puzzle-style scatterer.” ".

It would be impossible to go into detail about the often lively debates of the Sorbonne professors who fiercely dissected everything that made this very free adaptation of Albert Simonin's novel Grisbi or not Grisbi become in six decades the cult film by Excellency. But to summarize, we can say that Les Tontons flingueurs are the sum of Georges Lautner's talented cameraman and director, Michel Audiard's linguistic discoveries, and the musical setting of a prince of sound, the imaginative Michel Magne. To paraphrase Fernand Naudin, alias Lino Ventura, we can conclude that “the aces of the aces of cinema dare everything, and that’s even how we recognize them”.

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