WHow much subtlety can you presume of a film that attracted more than 17 million viewers to cinemas in its first season in France alone? And who weighs the domestic audience in the flattering certainty that every Frenchman was actually in the Resistance?
Louis de Funès’ first appearance in Gérard Oury’s occupation burlesque “The Great Sause” stoked high expectations. He plays an autocratic conductor, whose rehearsals for Hector Berlioz’s “Faust” are abruptly disrupted by an SS officer.
This proves subtlety when he first quotes Goethe’s words “More light!”. That could be a coincidence. But there is growing evidence that a fun cultural struggle will be fought from now on.