“Let’s do it the American way!”
After watching a film about high-powered new American postal services, a bicycle-riding country postman (Jacques Tati) delivers his mail in increasingly speedy ways.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Carnivals and Circuses
- French Films
- Jacques Tati Films
- Village Life
French comedic-auteur Jacques Tati’s first feature-length film (he made six in total) was this expansion of his 18-minute-short entitled “L’École des facteurs” (“School for Postmen”), about nothing more than a bumbling postman delivering mail around a village. There does happen to be a carnival taking place as the film opens, which provides many of the initial sight gags, including Tati’s attempt to help with the erection of a pole:
… and his interactions with a “round-about” (merry-go-round):
After Francois (Tati) watches a film about speedy new American postal methods — including use of helicopters and motorcycles ridden through blazing fires (!) — the entire focus of the remaining storyline (such as it is) is on his zealous attempts to get mail more quickly to residents.
While several of Tati’s later films are considered must-see by many, this earlier outing is only required viewing for those interested in the evolution of his unique comedic style.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Fine location shooting in Sainte-Sévère-sur-Indre
- Numerous instances of masterfully choreographed physical humor
No. Listed as a film with Historical Importance in the back of Peary’s book.