Today's Memory

Today’s Memory – Bourvil


27 July 1917, Prétot-Vicquemare – 23 September 1970, Paris


André Bourvil, born André Robert Raimbourg was a French actor and singer best known for his roles in comedy films, most notably in his collaboration with Louis de Funès in the films Le Corniaud (1965) and La Grande Vadrouille (1966). For his performance in Le Corniaud, he won a Special Diploma at the 4th Moscow International Film Festival.

Le Corniaud (1965)

In his comic performances Bourvil principally played roles of gentle and well-meaning characters who were often a bit obtuse or naïve, such as his roles opposite the hyperactive, dishonest and bossy ones played by Louis de Funès. Bourvil’s characters not only managed to make viewers laugh, but also to save themselves, often unwittingly, from the Machiavellian designs of his adversaries.

Bourvil was, however, also capable of more dramatic roles such as the handyman in L’Arbre de Noël (1969). In this role he observes the relationship between a man he works for and the young son who has fallen ill. The audience can identify with the character played by Bourvil, just as they can in his comic roles, so often as a simple man. One can also note his role of Monsieur Thénardier in the film adaptation of Les Misérables (1958), and his last role as the policeman Mattei in Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle rouge (1970). Great films: La Traversée de Paris, Un drôle de paroissien, La Grande Vadrouille, Le Cerveau, etc.

La Traversée de Paris (1956) With: Jean Gabin, Bourvil, Louis de Funes


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