A Pig Across Paris

Synopsis

In a cold, hungrily-rationed, blacked-out City of Lights under the Occupation (an experience only a decade past for the contemporary audience), a transaction involving worth-its-weight-in-gold black market pork from crabby, penny-pinching Montmartre butcher Louis de Funès (soon to be France’s long-time top box office draw) is carried out like a modern-day drug deal. But straight arrow ex-cabbie/black-marketeer Bourvil (winner, Best Actor at Venice; legendary in France for his gormless comic persona, known here for his change-of-pace role in Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge) can’t possibly manage the four-bags-full trek across nocturnal Paris himself, so he recruits meat-mooching, garrulous stranger-he-met-in-a-bar Jean Gabin — an adventurer who keeps getting them into, and then hilariously talking them out of, trouble with both the Germans and French police, as Bourvil’s nervous sweat pools in the gutter. But there’s a chilling, class-laden final twist.

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