The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe

  • 1972
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Comedy, Mystery

Filled with dry humor and featuring an understated comic performance by the expressionless Pierre Richard, this French farce concentrates on the silly aspects of the espionage world. Because of infighting in the French Secret Service, chief Louis Toulouse (Jean Rochefort) sets a trap for an ambitious underling, Bernard Milan (Bernard Blier), who is after...read more

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Filled with dry humor and featuring an understated comic performance by the expressionless Pierre Richard, this French farce concentrates on the silly aspects of the espionage world. Because of infighting in the French Secret Service, chief Louis Toulouse (Jean Rochefort) sets a trap for

an ambitious underling, Bernard Milan (Bernard Blier), who is after his job. As a result, the innocent Francois Perrin (Richard), a tall blond with one black shoe, is randomly chosen as a decoy to trap Milan, who immediately puts his men to work on Francois's past, his contacts, his mission, and

his real identity, convinced that he is a "superagent." In the tradition of the silent comics, Francois walks through this danger zone of espionage completely oblivious to the gangs of assassins out to kill him.

What is especially funny about the film is its send-up of the genre. Milan and his top agents assume that every one of Francois' actions has a double meaning: if he goes to the dentist, they think it is to meet a contact; when he plays the violin, they think it is a secret signal. They even try to

decode an innocent message inscribed on a photo from his mistress. A sequel followed in 1974 titled, appropriately enough, RETURN OF THE TALL BLOND MAN WITH ONE BLACK SHOE. The original was remade in 1985 as THE MAN WITH ONE RED SHOE, starring Tom Hanks.

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  • Released: 1972
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Filled with dry humor and featuring an understated comic performance by the expressionless Pierre Richard, this French farce concentrates on the silly aspects of the espionage world. Because of infighting in the French Secret Service, chief Louis Toulouse… (more)

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