Why Is 'de Funes Soupe Au Choux' Considered a French Comedy Classic

Le choux de la soupe aux choux © Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
Le choux de la soupe aux choux © Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
Le choux de la soupe aux choux © Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Louis de Funès is a name synonymous with French cinema. His unique style of physical comedy and expressive facial expressions have made him one of the most beloved comedians in France. One of his most watched films, "La Soupe au Choux", 

Don't miss a special Louis de Funès tribute playing through January on TV5MONDE Cinema On Demand with these films: La Folie des Grandeurs (1971), L'Homme Orchestre (1970), Hibernatus (1969), Le P'tit Baigneur (1968), Oscar (1967), Pouic-Pouic (1963), Les Grandes Vacances (1967), Le Grand Restaurant (1966), and La Zizanie (1978).

[Click "Lire la suite" to read more]

Copyright for the main image of this article:
Le choux de la soupe au choux © Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Louis de Funès is a name synonymous with French cinema. His unique style of physical comedy and expressive facial expressions have made him one of the most beloved comedians in France. One of his most watched films, "La Soupe au Choux", is a whimsical tale of two country farmers who encounter an extraterrestrial being and hatch a plan to save humanity with their magical cabbage soup. Directed by Jean Girault and based on the book by René Fallet, "La Soupe au Choux" has became a classic comedy and a Louis de Funès' favorite.

Where can you watch Louis de Funès and other French comedies?

The French-language network TV5MONDE is the place to be for French comedies with Louis de Funès like "Rabbi Jacob", "La Folie des grandeurs" and "La Grande vadrouille". But TV5MONDE is much more than that. It's the place for all things French: movies, TV shows, documentaries, news in French as well as many shows around French culture, fashion and art de vivre. You can also stream French content anytime you want with the streaming platform TV5MONDEplus and its thousands of French-language titles available with English or French subtitles.

Starting in November, TV5MONDE Cinema on Demand will stream 10 French movies with Louis de Funès including the hit comedies "Le Grand restaurant", "La folie des grandeurs", "Oscar", "Les grandes vacances" and "Hibernatus".

Looking to know more about Louis de Funès' rise to fame and special place in French cinema? Watch the documentary available on the French streaming platformTV5MONDEPlus, "Louis de Funès, champion du box office" or read our article on the Top 15 Movies of Louis de Funès

How "La Soupe au Choux" came together

"La Soupe au Choux" is a 1981 French film directed by Jean Girault and based on the book of the same name by René Fallet. The movie tells the story of two elderly farmers, Claude Ratinier (Le Glaude) and Francis Chérasse (Le Bombé), who live in a remote village and are best friends. Their peaceful routine is interrupted by the arrival of an extraterrestrial named La Denrée from the planet Oxo being who shares with them the secrets of the universe and the recipe for a magical soup made of cabbages. This causes all sorts of problems, including attracting unwanted attention from the local police and the media.

The idea for the movie came from the book by René Fallet, which was loved by actor Louis de Funès. He was so convinced that the book was perfect for a film adaptation that he decided to meet the author himself to try and buy the movie rights. De Funès was keen to take on the role of Claude Ratinier, one of the two farmers. The producers decided that the movie needed a younger actor alongside Louis de Funès to appeal to a wider audience, much like when the French actor was paired with Coluche in the 1978 comedy "L'aile ou la cuisse".

The best films with Louis de Funès

After some searching, the producer of the film finally completed the cast by adding Jacques Villeret to play the role of Francis Chérasse, the other farmer. Villeret, who was relatively unknown at the time, accepted the role and had an excellent chemistry with de Funès. The two actors had a lot of freedom on the set to improvise and adapt the script to their personalities, which allowed them to really get into their characters and create a unique atmosphere.

Claude Gensac, who had played de Funès' wife in a number of films, was also cast as Madame Ratinier, adding a touch of familiarity to the movie for those who had seen the duo work together in the Gendarme franchise.

The shooting of the movie was done in a small village located in the heart of the French countryside. The soundtrack of the movie had been composed by Raymond Lefèvre, who had previously worked with Louis de Funès on several occasions. The music gives the film a nostalgic feel, transporting viewers to another time with its melodic tunes.

"La Soupe au Choux", a box-office hit

Upon release, "La Soupe au Choux" was not widely acclaimed by French critics. Some saw it as a low quality comedy riddled with embarrassing gags, while others appreciated its offbeat style and quirky sense of humour. Despite the mixed reviews, however, the movie became a huge success at the French box office and quickly developed into a cult classic.

Over the years, "La Soupe au Choux" has become a beloved staple of French pop culture and its popularity has only grown. Its unique mix of humor, otherworldly elements and heartwarming values has made it a favorite among many viewers. The film's quirky sense of humor and eccentric stylization has endeared it to fans of the cinema, and its cult status can be attributed to the blend of playful characters and fantastical narrative.

Stream French movies now on TV5MONDE


If you have enjoyed reading this article about Louis de Funès, you may also enjoy the following articles:

Why Louis De Funès Is the King of French Comedy

Dive Into French Humor with the Top 15 Movies of Louis De Funes

Dive Into the Cinematic World of Louis De Funes: Analyzing His Best Roles

Unraveling 'louis De Funes Rabbi Jacob': a Deep Dive Into the Comedy Classic

Discover Louis De Funes, Bourvil, Jean Marais: the Icons of French Cinema You Should Know

What Makes 'louis De Funès La Grande Vadrouille' a Timeless Classic

Louis De Funes La Folie Des Grandeurs': a Comedic Masterpiece

10 Mouthwatering French movies about Food and Gastronomy

Bourvil-De Funès: The French comedic duo that you must know

Life and career of Louis de Funès, France's most beloved comedian

Le Gendarme de St. Tropez: A French Comedy Classic With Louis de Funès

La Zizanie, a fabulous political farce with Louis de Funès

10 facts you didn’t know about Louis de Funès