Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
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
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
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
  Gendarmes et les extra-terrestres, Le Spacemen in St. Tropez
Year: 1979
Director: Jean Girault
Stars: Louis de Funès, Michel Galabru, Maurice Risch, Jean-Pierre Rambal, Guy Grosso, Michel Modo, France Rumilly, Jean-Roger Caussimon, Mario David, Jacques François, Maria Mauban, Madeleine Delavaivre, Micheline Bourday, Jacqueline Jefford
Genre: Comedy, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Inept police chief Ludovic Cruchot (Louis de Funès) and his equally idiotic officers patrol the sun-drenched beaches of Saint-Tropez making life very difficult for their long-suffering superior, Gerber (Michel Galabru). One day, clumsy fat cop Beaupied (Maurice Risch) spies a real-life UFO flying off from the woods. At first no-none believes him but later Cruchot has a face-to-face with one of the clanking extra-terrestrials that drink oil, shoot laser beams from their eyes and have the power to shape-shift into anyone they want. Even though the aliens assure Crouchot they come in peace, the panicky policeman sets out to expose their existence but succeeds only in making himself look crazy.

Although science fiction and fantasy fare rank among the biggest blockbusters in English speaking countries, in France the highest grossing films tend to be comedies. In the case of Le gendarmes et les extra-terrestres the combination of both yielded the most profitable entry in the long-running comedy series that began with Le Gendarme de St. Tropez (1964). These lightweight farces were vehicles for the talents of one of France's most beloved comic actors, Louis de Funès who first found stardom in Pouic-Pouic (1963) which was also directed by frequent collaborator Jean Girault. Aside from headlining such other phenomenally popular French comedies as Le grande vadrouille a.k.a. Don't Look Now - We're Being Shot At! (1966), de Funès remained a fixture of the Gendarmes series right until the final entry, Le Gendarme et les gendarmettes (1982). There likely would have been further sequels had he not succumbed to a heart attack in 1983.

Unlike the dry wit of Francis Veber or the poetic pantomime of Jacques Tati, the comedies of Louis de Funès veer towards extremely broad farce. Which is not to suggest he was incapable of making comedies of substance – such his collaborations with the great comic auteur Gérard Oury, notably The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob (1973). By and large though his humour tends to be as much of an acquired taste for non-French speakers as the Carry On are for anyone outside Britain. By the late Seventies de Funès was looking distinctly long in the tooth but on this evidence still had energy to spare. His manic mugging compensates for a plot that proves leisurely and repetitive. The film's science fiction angle seemingly takes its cue from Jack Arnold's seminal It Came from Outer Space (1954) but does little with that potent plot. The UFOs are simply a pretext on which Girault and his co-writers (including de Funès himself) hang a series of ridiculous skits. Some genuinely amusing, including an extended sequence with Cruchot disguised as a nun, others simply tiresome.

For reasons none too clear the shape-shifting aliens disguise themselves as gendarmes or else sexy bikini girls to make out with human beings. Which inevitably leads Cruchot to mistake hot beach babes for aliens and being denounced as a pervert or stabbing his boss in the ass upon falling for an alien ruse. Given the aliens plainly state their intentions are peaceful (one of them even offers Beaupied a bouquet of flowers), the gendarmes come across as reckless idiots in provoking them into threatening all of St. Tropez and, by proxy, the entire planet. Perhaps that is the point. After all, in France the gendarmerie were figures of fun long before Hollywood began lampooning them with Inspector Clouseau. Girault and de Funès mock them as anal and incompetent pen-pushers though it is clear they regard these buffoons with a degree of affection. The film exhibits a mildly satirical edge with its attack on advertising. A montage shows blurbs and slogans cluttering up the streets of St. Tropez, even plastered on the backs of a newlywed couple, but proves to be another throwaway gag. One of many scattered throughout the film that go nowhere. Interestingly this would not be de Funès sole flirtation with sci-fi. He tangled with aliens again in Le Soupe Au Choux (1981).

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 2557 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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: