HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Magnifique, Le Never fear, Bob St. Clare is here!
Year: 1973
Director: Philippe De Broca
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jacqueline Bisset, Vittorio Caprioli, Monique Tarbes, Mario David, Raymond Gerome, Jean Lefebvre, Hans Mayer, Andre Weber
Genre: Comedy, Action, Thriller, Romance, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Bob St. Clare (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is the world’s greatest secret agent. Feared by men. Adored by women, particularly his sexy sidekick, Tatiana (Jacqueline Bisset). Summoned from his summer vacation, punching out terrorists in Baghdad, St. Claire sets out to foil the dastardly Russians, Chinese and an army of international criminals. By day he machine guns hundreds of leather clad assassins without even looking. By night, he composes poetry, plays piano concertos, and makes love like a sexual athlete. Which is all very well, except Bob St. Clare doesn’t exist. He’s a fictional character created by Francois Merlin (also Belmondo), a lonely, neurotic writer living alone in his dingy apartment, bullied by his publisher (Vittorio Caprioli), and yearning after his lovely neighbour, Christine (Bisset again)…

Le Magnifique doubles as both an uproarious, super-stylish spy spoof and a witty portrait of an embittered hack struggling with writer’s block. Throughout the first twenty minutes the film plays like a standard Euro-spy caper, until Merlin’s housekeeper suddenly wanders into the middle of a beach-set shootout and the truth is revealed. Reality keeps bursting his creative bubble, in the form of leaky plumbing, nosey houseguests and money problems. Cheated by a succession of handymen, Merlin deals them colourful, cartoon deaths in his fantasy world and transforms his smarmy publisher into St. Clare’s arch-enemy, Colonel Karpof.

Fantastically over the top, the film’s space-age sets and camp costumes spoof the wilder excesses of Ken Adam and Mario Bava, while the Sam Peckinpah-style, slow-mo orgies of death are hilariously gory. Bullets rip through bodies, wounds explode, a river of blood flows across Karpof’s lair, and most memorably - a brain blown out of its skull onto a dinner plate! Many of the gags prefigure those found in later, Hollywood spoofs like The Naked Gun (1988) and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). Instead of sharks with frikkin’ laser beams, here we have rats with teeth laced with cyanide (ready to be shoved up St. Clare’s arse!). Characters even complain to Merlin about how ridiculous this sounds.

The sun-soaked beaches and clear blue seas of Acapulco weave an enticing spell, plus there is eye-candy aplenty for boys and girls with ravishing, bikini-clad Jacqueline Bisset and an impressively bronzed and sculpted Jean-Paul Belmondo (at one point St. Clare kisses his muscles). Belmondo is a brilliant physical comedian, spoofing Bond, Bogart and even his own screen persona, as well as performing his trademark, daredevil stunts. This was his fourth collaboration with Philippe De Broca, following three classic comedy/adventures: Cartouche (1962), The Man from Rio (1964) and Les Tribulations d’un Chinois en Chine (1965) - all major influences on Steven Spielberg. De Broca and Belmondo had a falling out after their fifth venture together, the ebullient comedy L’Incorrigible (1974), but reunited for the bizarro, sci-fi kiddie flick Amazone (2000).

What lifts Le Magnifique far above most humdrum spoofs is the way rain-soaked reality slowly brightens the more Merlin admits his true feelings (“I’m forty years old and lonely”). The real Christine proves more far more vibrant, intelligent company and certainly no less gorgeous, or scantily clad. Bisset fans are in for a real visual treat. It culminates with a revenge-crazed Merlin rewriting his alter-ego into a clumsy, disease ridden oaf and finally, a mincing queen while Tatiana becomes a gang-banged whore. True happiness awaits with Christina in the real world, although one wonders whether Belmondo saw the irony a decade later when he was playing all-action super-studs in films like Le Professional (1981), Le Marginal (1983) and Le Solitaire (1987). Characters who were Bob St. Clare in all but name.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4043 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Philippe de Broca  (1933 - 2004)

This French director was best known internationally for his cult sixties movies Cartouche, That Man from Rio and King of Hearts, but he continued working up until his death. Other films included Tendre Poulet and Le Bossu.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: