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4.19.2021 – Laurie on Louis de Funès and Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez

Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez images and film poster

When I was growing up my family and I would sometimes watch films from a French actor named Louis de Funès. Although I didn’t like these old, black and white (most of the time) movies back then, I recently rediscovered them and found myself laughing like my parents did when I was a little girl. In 2007, a film titled On a tous grandi avec Louis de Funès (We all grew up with Louis de Funès) came out as an homage to the late legend. I too grew up with Louis de Funès, he is part of my childhood and I would like to share a short biography of him and a summary of one of his movies with you.

Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza was a French actor and comedian born in 1914 from Spanish parents. De Funès spoke French, English and Spanish. He played many roles (about 150 roles in films and 100 on stage) and was considered to be France’s favorite actor since 1968. Louis de Funès, also called Fufu by those close to him, got married twice and had three children. His second wife Jeanne Barthelémy de Maupassant was the descendant of the famous writer and journalist Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893). He and his family resided in a château that his wife inherited, the Château de Clermont. He was one of the best and most famous French actors. He was and is still known and famous internationally (in French-speaking countries and non French-speaking countries). De Funès achieved great prosperity and success in his life and died at the age of 68 in 1983.

Funes’ films were usually slapstick comedy, with a lot of physical humor. One of his films is titled Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez (The Policeman from Saint-Tropez) and Louis played the role of a sergeant named Ludovic Cruchot who has been reassigned to Saint-Tropez. He moved there with his teenage daughter. Throughout the movie he and his colleagues are trying to arrest a group of nudists but they fail many times. In addition to that, he has to watch and protect his daughter who tries everything to be like the teenagers of her age in the commune of Saint-Tropez, she runs away, hangs out with a group of ¨bad¨ teenagers who have a bad influence on her, dresses indecently and does illegal things with her new friends like stealing a car and lying to the police. Ludovis Cruchot (played by Louis de Funès) does everything to correct the mistakes of his precious daughter in a funny way of course! Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez was the first in a series of films where de Funès played the role of a gendarme and it was the most popular film at the French box office in 1964 until Dany Boon´s Les Ch´tis film.

Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez (free on YouTube)

Learn more about Louis de Funès on Wikipedia.