Grandpa resists is not a comedy: “It is a realistic and comic adventure film”

In 1983, Christian Clavier, Jean-Marie Poiré and their friends presented Papy … in Première.

This Sunday after the 1 p.m. newspaper, go to France 2 to (re) see Grandpa is resisting, Jean-Marie Poiré’s comedy with a phenomenal cast (Christian Clavier, Jacques Villeret, Michel Galabru, Jacqueline Maillan, Gérard Jugnot, Martin Lamotte, Pauline Lafont, Thierry Lhermitte…), which had gathered more than 4 million spectators in theaters obscure in 1983. A comedy, really? At the time, part of the team posed on the cover of First and detailed the creation of the film, qualified as “realistic and comic adventure film” by its authors Christian Clavier, Martin Lamotte and Jean-Marie Poiré.

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The trio detailed with Marc Esposito and Martine Moriconi to have had the idea of ​​the project a few years earlier, but that the action scenes would have cost so much that they first preferred to keep only a few passages to adapt them to the theater . Before the film, there was the play, which was a hit in 1982 and intrigued producer Christian Fechner, who loved their concept so much that he agreed to invest in its adaptation. “The play is in fact only an episode of the film, that located in the cellar, which must now last 7 to 8 minutes”, explained the director. “Everything we couldn’t show because we were in the theater, we made the audience imagine it, Lamotte then confirmed. In the film, we were finally able to show the adventure, the action. “

Christian Clavier and his friends then surrounded themselves with talented technicians (Robert Alazraki –Santa Claus is a junk, My Father’s Glory– pictured, Willy Holt –Is Paris Burning? Goodbye Children– sets, for example), which were responsible for reconstructing the ambiance of the 1940s in a spectacular fashion. They also called on their star friends for more or less important roles, but all of them remarkable. “It was Fechner who, one day, told us: ‘But if you want to find the Paris side is it burning? Or The longest day, even the very small roles must be played by famous actors . “

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On Form, Grandpa is resisting was therefore not lacking in ambition. On the merits either, as Poiré detailed, modest: “Grandpa … is much more a film on the vision of the resistance that we have today than a film on the resistance. We are of a generation which knows the war of 40 only through a slew of bad films which, all, were only imitations of two or three masterpieces of the genre. We preferred to make a masterpiece by imitating these bad films! “ Lamotte and Clavier insisted on the qualities of their characters, who “have ambitions of courage against the Germans (even if) they are not up to their ambitions. (…) The Bourdelles are resistants. Simply, because we are in a comic film, they are clumsy resistants. Which ultimately makes them perhaps more human, and more true, than in a number of other resistance films! “ The director’s last words? “We didn’t make a comic film to make one more comic film, but because we find comic films and comedies to be smarter than dramas.” Grandpa… would be a comedy, after all.

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