By the mid to late 1960s, Louis de Funès had well and truly established as France's
top comic film actor. Le Petit baigneur
is a relative minor entry in his
filmography but it continued a remarkable series of box office successes which began with
Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez
and a groovy Fantômas
Le Petit baigneur
was directed by Robert Dhéry, who collaborated with De
Funès on a number of other films. He is perhaps best known as the director
of the popular comedy troupe, Les Branquignols, who leapt to fame in the late 1940s.
Dhéry (who also stars in the film as the red-headed inventor Castagnier) was a
fan of the comedy classics of the silent era (notably those featuring the comic genius
Buster Keaton), and Le Petit baigneur
can be regarded as a shameless homage to
With a virtually non-existent plot and characters that appear to have been wrenched from
the pages of a comic book, Le Petit baigneur
's charm lies entirely in its relentless
series of visual jokes - some of which are hilariously funny. De Funès is
very nearly at his best, his style of comedy perfectly suited to this kind of film.
He manages to outshine all of his fellow actors, who generally fail to make much of the
film's comic potential - except for the spirited contributions from Colette Brosset and
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