The Devil by the Tail (1969) torrent download

The Devil by the Tail





A Marquise who lures motorists to her hotel by sabotaging their cars gets more than she bargains for when one guest turns out to be a bank robber on the run


Philippe de Broca


Yves Montand
as Le baron César Maricorne
Madeleine Renaud
as La marquise
Maria Schell
as La comtesse Diane
Jean Rochefort
as Le comte Georges
Jean-Pierre Marielle
as Jean-Jacques Leroy-Martin, le "play-boy"
Marthe Keller
as Amélie, baronne de Coustines
Claude Piéplu
as Monsieur Patin

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by blanche-2 8 /10

a robber hides out with a family

"Devil by the Tail" is a 1969 French film directed by Phillipe de Broca, starring Yves Montand, Madeleine Renaud, Maria Schell, and Marthe Keller.

A family that has fallen on hard times runs a hotel which has one permanent weekend guest and little else in between. In the opening scene, coffee cups are being placed strategically in the attic to catch water leakage during the rain.

The family consists of an elegant older woman, la marquise (Renaud), her flirtatious married daughter (Schell), la comtesse Diane, her husband, le comte George ( Jean Rochefort) and their beautiful, leggy daughter le jeune baronne Amelie (Keller). Amelie has a some time boyfriend, Charles, who works at a local garage, who occasionally gets the hotel guests by disabling their cars when they stop for gas.

When Charles disables the car of a group of gangsters who have just stolen 100,000 francs, the three reluctantly check in at the hotel and put the money in the wall safe. The head man, Cesar (Yves Montand) charms the women. After a visit from the police, the family realizes who their guests are -- in one hilarious scene, unaware that Cesar has left with the money, they try to break into the safe from the back. The three men leave, but two are killed when their car gets into an accident and goes into the water. Cesar makes his way back to the hotel to hide out.

Absolutely delightful film that could be made today. It's not dated at all and manages to be sexy, warm, and funny all at the same time. Marthe Keller is so fresh and young, and her long, gorgeous legs are shown throughout the film. Maria Schell is unabashedly playful and romantic, though she loves her husband. Renaud, a stunning older woman, is no-nonsense and practical throughout. And the star, Montand, is the essence of French smoothness and charm as he captivates the family.

Highly recommended, with wonderful direction, acting, music, and scenery. It will leave you with a smile on your face!

Reviewed by jotix100 7 /10

Life at the castle

The old baronial castle of an impoverished French aristocratic family had seen better days. When the story begins we meet count Georges attending to a leaking roof by placing several chamber pots to gather the water that seeps through. To make matters worse, the hotel business the family decided to turn the castle in, has no paying guests. Leave to the enterprising old marquess and her beautiful granddaughter Amalie. How about enlisting the young woman's admirer, Charlie, a gas station attendant, to disable the cars of unsuspecting patrons and then taking them to the castle where the room rates are steep.

Everything goes according to plan until a trio of bank robbers' Cadillac arrives at the filling station and Charlie does his magic act. Little prepares the royal owners when they discover the true identity of baron Caesar. What they like more is the bank loot he is carrying and entrusts to the marquess for safekeeping.

This delightful farce-like movie directed by Phillipe De Broca, the man that gave us "King of Hearts" and "That Man from Rio", just to name two other of his comedies, was a surprise when it showed recently on a cable channel. Not having seen it before, we took a chance that paid off royally. Written by Mr. De Broca with his usual collaborator, Daniel Boulanger, the film doesn't disappoint.

It was a pleasure to see Yves Montand playing doing comedy for a change. One tends to forget this actor was a versatile performer who is a joy to watch as the crook that really missed his call as a gourmet cook. Madeleine Renaud was another surprise. She does an amazing job as the old royal that has been reduced to being poor, but she has a grand scheme to be rich again. A young Marthe Keller as Amelie makes the most out of her role with her intelligent approach to the role. Maria Schell and Jean Rochefort have little to do. The large supporting cast does wonders for the director.

This is a fun film thanks to Phillipe De Broca's inspired direction.

Reviewed by Epaminondas 9 /10

Lighthearted and innocent

In director Philippe de Broca's vast production this is probably the most underrated effort: almost fallen into oblivion (no DVD out) this movie is a gem of wit and innocence. You have to accept the utter futility of the plot and the impossibility to believe the twists, to enjoy the grace of youth displayed by Marthe Keller (the films constantly captures her long, naked, legs as she runs or rides a bike in the French countryside), the wonderful comic performances by Marielle and Rochefort, the consummate acting of Madeleine Renaud and the serene charm of Montand.

Though extremely lighthearted and quick-paced, the film manages to be poignant thanks to the superb score by Delerue (De Broca said that he would like the piano theme he composed to be played at his own funeral). What makes this film so special for me is the feeling of freedom that radiates from the characters as they move about in this tale, completely separated from social or political issues (remember the film was made in 1968). They manage to convey innocence while frantically pursuing love, happiness and enjoying themselves.

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