Boniface somnambule (1951)

aka: The Sleepwalker


Boniface somnambule photo
Following his much publicised exploits with a notorious gang of hoodlums, Monsieur Boniface is hired as a detective for a department store, his mission being to watch over the jewellery shelves. Boniface would be ideally suited for this task were it not for the fact that he suffers from sleepwalking. One evening, whilst in a somnambulant state, the poor man unwittingly breaks into the store and helps himself to the jewels. Some crooks are quick to turn the situation to their advantage. Boniface's life then takes another unexpected turn when he sleepwalks into the bedroom of the lovely Stella...
© 2012

Film Review

Boniface somnambule is far from being the most memorable of French comedies but it does have one claim fame - a hilarious scene in which two of France's legendary comic actors - Louis de Funès and Fernandel - appear in bed together. Alas, this unforgettable (and highly improbable) rencontre takes up less than five minutes of screen time and the rest of the film is the usual poldding Fernandel fare, with the horse-faced comedian reprising the role he had played in L'Héroïque Monsieur Boniface (1949). Director Maurice Labro makes the most of the lacklustre scenario but the distinct dearth of gags and a mostly recycled storyline offer limited scope for creativity. A few limp musical numbers provide a little relief from the heavy pall of ennui that hangs over the film, but apart from the aforementioned clash of comedy titans there's not a great deal to write home about. It's an amiable little time waster if you're a Fernandel fan, otherwise don't bother.
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