2 November 2021

Alexandre Arcady's Hold-up (1985)

Alexandre Arcady's Hold-up is a screwball comedy set almost entirely in Montréal with a script by Alexandre Arcady himself, Daniel Saint-Hamont and none other than Francis Veber adapted from the novel Quick Change by Jay Cronley. It stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as Grimm, a crook pretending (often brilliantly) to be a clown (or Robin Hood) who has spent two years figuring out how to rob the Banque Internationale de Montréal and is aided by accomplices Georges (Guy Marchand) and Lise (Kim Cattrall), the girlfriend of the incompetent Georges who soon falls for Grimm, Georges' bosom ex-cellmate's buddy. One of the people trying to hound down the trio is the police commissaire Simon Labrosse (Jean-Pierre Marielle) who's made to look, er, a clown.

And they unbelievably get away with it, although not without many hitches, car chases, 'borrowing' a taxi driven by Jeremie (Jacques Villeret playing his usual (and not so con) best and being left naked): there are no murders here. And so on to Paris, then Rome to meet Lise whom they've (temporarily but in reality permanently) split from, and who's no doubt left them with their share of the loot but then if she can't have Grimm... Essentially, a buddy movie impossible to believe but impossible to hate.

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