Papa, les Petits Bateaux…

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Very much a film of its time, this is Nelly Kaplan's oblique tribute to Tex Avery and Betty Boop (and Jerry Lewis), a comedy melodrama that aspires to animation with its utterly improbable fantasy of an incorrigible millionaire heiress kidnapped by comic strip gangsters, and held to ransom in a suburban house where she picks them off one by one, seeding little squabbles, encouraging greed, and carrying out the occasional murder (funniest of these: a Corsican mobster, inflamed by lust for the heroine, demonstrates his macho tour de force, the Death Leap, only to be impaled on his own knife). It's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as much as anything, with all seven eventually laid to rest in the garden and she their wide-eyed victor. The tone (insistently disingenuous) is occasionally irritating, but at its best rather resembles the charmed craziness of Céline and Julie.

Release details

Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nelly Kaplan
Screenwriter: René Guyonnet, Claude Makovski, Nelly Kaplan
Cast: Bernard Musson
Marcel Dalio
Sydney Chaplin
Pierre Mondy
Sheila White
Michel Lonsdale
Michel Bouquet