Champions juniors (1951)

Comedy / Documentary / Short


Champions Juniors photo
After a heated argument with his strict father, a little boy who is obsessed with motor cars visits his godfather at the factory where he works in Billancourt. Having managed to slip into the factory, the boy manages to evade capture as he marvels at the world of his dreams...
© 2015

Film Review

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

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