Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe, The (1972)

Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe, The (1972)

“Pick out anyone you like, someone out of a crowd: the more anonymous the better.”

A bumbling musician (Pierre Richard) is mistakenly identified as an undercover agent, and shadowed by a rival spy ring who interpret his every move as important.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Comedy
  • French Films
  • Mistaken or Hidden Identities
  • Musicians
  • Spies

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “harmless French farce about a dizzy musician… who a group of spies mistakenly believe works for a rival spy gang” starts off slowly, but quickly begins to generate laughs once Pierre Richard’s hapless violinist enters the screen and is pursued by “a beautiful woman” (Mireille Darc).

Peary notes that “clumsy Richard keeps acting like a fool, but the spies think it’s just a clever cover.” I agree with Peary that it “contains some funny sight gags”, with the “biggest laugh com[ing] when Richard first sees [the] low, low, low-cut, backless gown Darc wears in the seduction scene.”

Many reviewers seem to find this comedy overly “academic”, but contributors on IMDb are in agreement with me that it’s a genuinely amusing physical comedy. Check it out for yourself.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Many amusing sight gags — for instance, Richard fighting a losing battle with his own bagpipes
  • Colorful sets and cinematography

Must See?
No, but it’s a gentle little farce worth seeking out. Remade with Tom Hanks as The Man with One Red Shoe (1985).


One thought on “Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe, The (1972)

  1. First viewing. Agreed, not must-see, though it’s innocuous-enough. Some may enjoy it for its light-entertainment value. For me, moments of it worked here and there, though I feel some of it is also forced and slapstick-y.

    That said, the last 10 minutes are a good pay-off in a typically French farce way so it does have a nice finish.

    And Darc’s backless gown is indeed a HIGHLIGHT – it’s hilarious and quite an unexpected surprise.

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