ⓘ Le Magnifique


ⓘ Le Magnifique

Le Magnifique is a French movie released in 1973, starring Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Paul Belmondo. Le Magnifique is a slapstick spoof of B-series espionage movies and novels.


1. Synopsis

François Merlin Belmondo is a Jean Bruce type writer of pulp espionage novels he has written 42 so far and about half of the film plays in his imagination, where he is the world-renowned superspy Bob Sinclar The name of the character is never seen written in the movie, while some people write his name "Saint-Clair" the way it is pronounced in French sounds like Sinclar.

Christine Jacqueline Bisset is a sociology student who lives in Merlins building and is interested in the novels, but in the writers imagination she becomes Tatiana, his paramour, while the pompous and rich publisher of his novels, Pierre Charron Vittorio Caprioli, doubles as the great villain of the spy novels, the Albanian secret services head Karpov, who in a memorable scene of the film threatens to cut off one of Tatianas breasts.

Christine is clearly fascinated with the handsome spy Bob Sinclar, an unrealistic and idealized hero, who is the very opposite of his creator: a clumsy, frustrated man who barely makes enough money to get by. However, when she is befriended by the rich and vain publisher who looks down upon his poor hack writer, she realises her mistake, and after a party where he tries to seduce her, she flees him and falls asleep on the landing outside the writers flat, where he finds her in the morning, clad apparently only in a T-shirt and embraces her for a happy ending. In the final scene, Merlin throws over the balcony his last manuscript, freeing himself from his character and his imaginated life.


2. UK Release

In the United Kingdom, Le Magnifique was titled How to Destroy the Reputation of the Greatest Secret Agent, and was released as the B-Movie to the film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze in 1975.


3. Cast

  • Mario David actor: Policeman
  • Jacqueline Bisset: Christine / Tatiana
  • Hubert Deschamps: Salesman
  • Vittorio Caprioli: Georges Charron / Colonel Karpof
  • Jean-Paul Belmondo: François Merlin / Bob Saint-Clar
  • Raymond Gerome: General Pontaubert
  • Hans Meyer actor: Colonel Collins
  • Andre Weber: The plumber
  • Jean Lefebvre: The electrician
  • Monique Tarbes: Mrs. Berger
  • Jean-Pierre Rambal: The Lecturer
  • Louis Navarre actor: Interpreter
  • Gaetan Noel: Doctor
  • Bernard Musson: Interpreter

4. References to other films and media

This is the film that is the main inspiration for the three teenage heroes of the novel by Andrei Makine, Once Upon the River Love Au temps du fleuve Amour, 1994.

French DJ Bob Sinclar took his stage name from the unseen super spy