Champions juniors (1951)
A film directed by Pierre Blondy

Genre: Comedy / Documentary / Short

Film Review

Champions Juniors photo
Champions juniors was one of just three films directed by Pierre Blondy, the others being a feature, Fils de France (1946), and another short, Un duel à mort. Blondy started his career as an actor, appearing in an uncredited role in Jean Renoir's La Grande illusion (1937), before becoming an assistant director for such distinguished filmmakers as Marcel Carné (Les Enfants du paradis) and René Clair (Le Silence est d'or). He scripted the film with Marcel Camus, who would later make his mark as a director with his first films, Mort en fraude (1956) and Orfeu Negro (1959).

Champions juniors is an indefinable oddity that looks like a cross-between Truffaut's Les 400 coups and a promotional film for Renault, at one of whose factories most of the film was shot. Through the eyes of a little boy rebelling against his authoritarian father - Louis de Funès many years before he became a comic icon - we see factory workers toiling contentedly in a modern factory. The most impressive part is an expressionistic dream sequence which might well have been filmed by Fritz Lang. It's hard to know who the film was aimed at, or even what its purpose was. It's a cutely weird film that would long have passed into obscurity were it not for de Funès's mischievous presence at the top and tail of the film.
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Film Credits

Directed by Pierre Blondy
Starring: Louis de Funès, Pierrot, Jean Durand, Emile Genevois, René Hell
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