La grande vadrouille The greatest comedy film in the history of mankind, the best translation in the history of Chinese cinema

Let’s start with the title: La Grande Vadrouille, the original French meaning: a grand ramble. What the hell? This nonsensical title, which is not at all reminiscent of war, playfully expresses authentic French humor to the fullest – even the war of the country’s destruction, life and death, can be easily carried away with the word “hanging out”, who else but the French. But if the film’s title is translated directly, the country must not understand this humor. So the name “Tiger’s Mouth”, which sounds dangerous and exciting, was born. The seemingly metaphorical meaning of “tiger’s mouth”, but at the beginning of the film (the captain landed next to the tiger at the zoo), it was a direct point – as if this film was originally made by the Chinese, the original name should be called “Tiger’s Mouth “, what other translation is more appropriate? Compared to the translation of the name of Hong Kong and Taiwan ‘rampage out of the siege’ and ‘big attack’, and even the English translation of the name ‘Don’t Look Now… We’re Being Shot At!”, no doubt much inferior. <Picture 17> The film opens with motors roaring, explosions, bombs raining down, and a backdrop of bright red and green that changes rapidly, making it seem like another typical war movie with “thrills” as its selling point. What about the comedy? <Picture 15> When the smoke clears and the morning comes, the plane breaks out of the clouds and the color tone immediately changes to a soft blue, and the music changes to an upbeat rhythm – the captain whistles while flying the plane, even if he is shot in the tail and has to abandon the plane and parachute in the flames at the end, but the cheerfulness remains. We are used to seeing anti-Japanese “values” films, but we feel a little too frivolous. However, when watching the whole film, found that the so-called “war film” did not die, and even several times in order to tell you that “the enemy, despite the tragedy, did not die” and deliberately add shots (such as wine cellar arson to the German soldiers untied, after shooting down the reconnaissance aircraft pilot The spirit of a seemingly contradictory “war comedy” is what director Uri hopes to express through this cheerfulness. The British, although there are three of them, are actually one person: soldiers. Long years of military service make them unconsciously show the same qualities: brave and optimistic, disciplined and willing to sacrifice (such as Mackintosh as a prostitute), but not lose their humanity (such as peeping under the skirt, alcoholism, kissing Sister). There is no conflict between these three people in the whole film, everything is neat and tidy, like the same person. This uniformity is not only in character, even in the countryside fleeing for their lives, they all unconsciously whistle the same whistle in unison, as if it were a march – these few seconds of footage are not only a laugh, but a divine stroke of the director to portray the characters to the bone. <Picture 8> What is even more interesting is the Germans, the German ghosts in the film. The Germans are the “enemy” in the film, but they are not devils who have lost their humanity, but soldiers who obey the orders of their officers. All these images are expressed through the typical Major Akbakh: interrupting the command rehearsal, he would say sorry; and the classic “I am a regular army, not some secret police. If you won’t talk, I’ll have to send you to the authorities who will make you talk.” The implication is that the regular army has its own integrity, even in the occupied area will not give up their integrity; the general celebrated his birthday, can be in the French home of the hosts, but also did not forget to teach the “fear of wife” of the French man is the head of the family, exactly like a good friend; and including Peter and the two French have been arrested, were also treated humanely. The most surprising scene is that the German soldiers who ran into the French house to search the house, can help the hostess to carry the boxes without any complaint! <Image 4> This film is remarkable for not demonizing the German Nazis against the historical facts – historically, they were relatively friendly to the other ethnic groups in the occupied areas, except for the Jews, who they had to kill. This is completely different from the Japanese. <Image 10> In stark contrast are the French, between Stanislas and Augustine. One of the two was a famous conductor, whom even the Germans had to respect; the other was a painter at the bottom of the social ladder, with no social presence of any kind for him. Originally, these two people’s lives would never cross paths. But by mistake, they were forced to embark on a journey together to escape, and were not destined to hit it off. Their respective shortcomings, the conflict between the two, all were just right to create a laugh. Such as Augustine timid and lustful, but willing to hero for his sweetheart; Stanislas is used to “command”, even the cart to command (and the director even let him command the cart twice), but on the other hand, but everywhere lack of life skills, even can not ride a bike, so he had to rely on (or bully) Augustine. They constantly quarrel in the film, but each of them also saved the other n times. Despite all their shortcomings, they are willing to save the British and put themselves in danger, and even flee around. I’ve seen movies from so many countries, but I think only the French are brave enough to face and even laugh at the flaws in their own national character, and have fun with it. <Image 7> <Image 19> <Image 14> At this point, I’m sure you understand that the director really wanted to portray not the first and most numerous British pilots, not the “humane occupiers”, the Germans, not Julia or Sister Sister, but these two Frenchmen. All the rest of the scenes are to set them up. After all, this is a French film. The French and the British, except for the episode in which the British rescue the French, the film does not depict too much. The more interesting scene is the Turkish bathroom squadron leader with Augustine to steal German uniforms, at first Augustine extremely refused, however, while shouting “I do not do”, but while catching the squadron leader handed the uniform.

The French and the Germans, on the one hand, a few French people hate the German occupiers with a passion, such as the (underground?) who tried to blow up the German commander. ; can in addition most people choose to live their lives in peace under the German occupation, and even serve them – Stanislas performed for the German commander, Augustine painted for the German command, the appearance of these two scenes is no coincidence. It certainly had a lot to do with the Germans treating the French with courtesy. These two points, perhaps, are the reason why France as a large country but fell so quickly. However, one detail reveals the indignation that was weighing on the hearts of the French: when the German command was on fire, the soldiers shouted to the arriving fire department, “Put out the fire!” The Frenchman, a fireman, did not dare to disobey, but chose to spray the water gun in his hand directly into his face. <Picture 13> There are more jokes that don’t address nationality, but point directly to human nature: when Mackintosh teaches Augustine to sing “Tea for Two” at Julia’s house, the two sing the words “I love you, you love me”. When he entered the Turkish bath naked, in front of the suspected bearded man, the unique ambiguity of the atmosphere makes it difficult for him to speak, singing the lyrics also became “I’m with you, you’re with me”. The same details also appear in Peter and Stanislas. The psychological changes are depicted in just one word, thanks to the seniors who translated the lines, otherwise we would never have experienced this subtlety. And ‘tea for two’ is a divine work of the translator, the English ‘tea for two’ translated into Chinese, what can be more “letter, da, elegant” than these three words? The film is a great example of how to make a good use of the world’s most famous musicians. The conductor, Louis DeFines, is a master of French comedy, and it is his famous work, Tiger’s Mouth. In the film, he conducts the orchestra rehearsal footage, before and after the appearance of five minutes long. The amazing thing is that, according to his friends in the symphony orchestra, he conducts the orchestra in a way that is not even the slightest bit different from a real professional conductor! It seems that he is not an actor, but really a conductor. <Picture 2> Bulwer, known as “the loveliest old man in France”, was already a household name when he played the painter. It can be said that many Chinese people’s impressions of French civilians come from his successful portrayal of the French painter. The character of the painter cannot be reflected through big scenes, but only through every word and every action, and there is no doubt that Bouvier has done this. In the future, he was called the “French comedy triangle” together with De Fines and director/writer Uri, who became famous with the help of Tiger’s Mouth. <Image 12> Throughout the film, there are only two minor flaws: one is that the German soldier on the motorcycle is taken off the cliff by the paint line, and there is no explanation of what happens to him, which is the only scene in the film that doesn’t tell you “he’s alive. Perhaps it was edited out of the Chinese version (132 minutes in the full version, but only 123 minutes in the translated version we saw), or perhaps the director had already told us through the sound of his landing immediately after he fell off the cliff: the cliff was not high, and he must still be alive. <Picture 9> Another thing is even more unbelievable: there were five crew members on the bomber, and the footage before the jump clearly tells us: <Picture 1> After the jump, only three escaped, and the other two were captured by the Germans, as we know from the Major’s words: <Picture 3> Yet the three who escaped did not have any intention to wait or look for those two, not even a line to find them, but to take care of themselves began to flee. For the soldiers who practice collectivism, this is a very thoughtful plot, and the only thing that can be considered a “failure” of the whole film. Hopefully, it was just edited out. Compared with the film’s flaws, the contribution of the older generation of voice actors in the factory can really be called flawless! Shang Hua, Yu Ding, Yang Wenyuan, Yan Chongde, Weng Zhenxin, Tong Zirong, Cheng Xiaohua …… are some of the names that have been heard in the world to create this immortal classic. The Shanghai Film Museum in Xujiahui is one of the TOP 3 museums in my mind, having seen over 300 museums in China. one of the exhibition halls is dedicated to the dedication of those old voice actors. You can hear their voices and read their stories there: Mr. Shang Hua, the conductor’s dubbing artist, was already over the age of his age when he dubbed, but he would even dub a line dozens of times over and over again, thinking about it day and night, constantly trying to figure it out, and even pursuing lip-synching until he was finally satisfied, but he was nearly sick …… <picture 20> (Picture from (Shanghai Film Museum website) When you have seen this film for many years, you may have forgotten the appearance of everyone in the film (after all, we are often face-blind to Westerners), but you will always remember those immortal voices: “Mr. Mackintosh, I have good news for you!” — Shanghua (conductor) “I’m short of brushes, I need to buy a big box of new brushes …… I want round brushes” — Yu Ding (painter) “You take me for a fool?!” — Weng Zhenxin (Major of German Army) Whenever Tiger’s Mouth is mentioned, the first thing that comes to our mind must be these humorous and witty but penetrating voices. There are many great foreign films, but with subtitles alone, we can never truly understand the spirit of a film. Thanks to the old timers of dubbing and Shanghai Translation Studio, we can understand a foreign film as deeply as a domestic one for the first time. Without the great dubbing, I would have thought it was a “good” movie, but never a “great” one.

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