30 December 2021

Jean Boyer's Le Trou normand | Crazy for Love (1952)

This is set in the imaginary village of Courteville (in reality La Vieille-Lyre not far from Évreux). Thirtysomething Hippolyte Lemoine (Bourvil) may not be the full whatever currency you care to mention, but he's clearly a thoroughly decent guy and when his uncle dies he leaves everything to him – on condition that Hippolyte passes his elementary school exams – the dead man's lover Augustine (Jane Marken), whose daughter is Javotte (a very young Brigitte Bardot), is obviously furious because she expected to inherit, especially the auberge Le Trou normand.

Much of the plot involves Augustine's attempts to gain what she believes are her rightful possessions, and thwarting Hippolyte's attempts at getting an education. She tries to convince Hippolyte that her daughter is in love with him, although there are many complications and in the end he triumphs – not just as a result of the will of the townspeople, but of his uncle's codicil. A joy to watch, but when isn't Bourvil a joy to watch?

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