The inventor André Castagnier, and his sister, Charlotte, win the coveted first
prize of the San Remo regatta, thanks to Castagnier's revolutionary new dinghy.
A short while later, Castagnier disgraces himself when another boat he worked on is damaged
on its maiden launch. His employer, the irascible Louis-Philippe Fourchaume, dismisses
him, but quickly realises his error. When an Italian entrepreneur, Marcello Cacciaperotti,
offers a lucrative contract to manufacture Castagnier's new dinghy, Fourchaume has no
option but to find Castagnier and beg him to return to him...
© filmsdefrance.com 2012
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
The above article was written for filmsdefrance.com and should not be reproduced in any medium without the author's permission.
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If you like Le Petit baigneur
you may also like: Comme un cheveu sur la soupe (1957)
, Tout le monde il est beau, tout le monde il est gentil (1972)
, Que les gros salaires lèvent le doigt! (1982)
and One, Two, Three (1961)
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