French comic actor Louis de Funès was at the height of his stardom when Hibernatus was released in 1969, the 5th biggest box-office hit of that year. A classic French comedy for the whole family.
In Greenland, a 25 year-old man is discovered frozen in a block of ice - alive. He is quickly identified as Paul Fournier, the victim of a 1905 shipwreck. His granddaughter Edmée de Tartas is thrilled to welcome her ancestor into her home. Her husband Hubert is less enthusiastic...
If you’re looking for a French movie in English with Louis de Funès, this is the one for you. Two years after the success of Oscar, Edouard Molinaro involves Louis de Funès in another outlandish story, the one of a man frozen for 65 years and suddenly back to life. Think Good Bye, Lenin set in the late 60s.
The movie became a cult classic in France, always playing on TV come Christmas time – think The Odd Couple or The Producers – but the making of the film was not exactly an easy ride. Louis de Funès, the most bankable French actor of that era, was in charge of everything on set: rewriting the script again and again, changing the dialogue as the days goes, and bickering with the director to endlessly redo the takes to find the best tone and rhythm for his jokes. The well-known perfectionism of Louis de Funès – invisible on screen as he always seemed to be improvising – was a bit too much for the director, who soon after the release of the film talked about their difficult relationship on set but recognizing the incredible talent of his actor. Years later, Édouard Molinaro will tenderly say “With De Funès, we were a difficult couple, but through pain we had beautiful babies”.
Directed by: Édouard Molinaro (France/Italy, 1969)
Cast: Louis De Funès (Hubert de Tartas), Claude Gensac (Edmée de Tartas), Olivier De Funès (Didier de Tartas), Bernard Alane (Paul Fournier), Eliette Demay (Evelyne Crépin-Jaujard)
In French with English subtitles
Premier French Language Television
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