L'emmerdeur (English title: A Pain in the Ass, literally The Troublemaker) is a 1973 French-Italian black comedy film starring Jacques Brel, appearing in his tenth and final feature film. Directed by Édouard Molinaro and co-starring Lino Ventura, Caroline Cellier, and Jean-Pierre Darras, L'emmerdeur is an adaptation of Francis Veber's 1971 play Le contrat.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byÉdouard Molinaro
Produced by
Written byFrancis Veber (play and screenplay)
Music by
CinematographyRaoul Coutard
Edited by
  • Monique Isnardon
  • Robert Isnardon
Distributed byCCFC
Release date
  • 20 September 1973 (1973-09-20) (France)
Running time
85 minutes
  • France
  • Italy
Box office$25.2 million[1]


Ralph Milan is a contract killer who is paid to kill Louis Randoni, whose testimony in various trials could harm the organisation. Ralph waits for his prey in his hotel room, but is interrupted by his comical neighbour, a shirt salesman named François Pignon (Jacques Brel). Pignon, who is suicidal since his wife left him for a reputed psychiatrist named Fuchs (Jean-Pierre Darras), tries to hang himself on the waterpipes, but only manages to cause a flood. Realizing that if Pignon tries to kill himself again the police will search the place, Milan offers to talk him out of it until after his assassination. Unfortunately Pignon starts irritating him more, and makes it more difficult for him to fulfill his contract killing.[2]



The film was remade in the United States in 1981 as Buddy Buddy by Billy Wilder, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The film was remade in France in 2008 as L' Emmerdeur starring Patrick Timsit and Richard Berry. Neither remake was well received and the 2008 version was a conspicuous disaster, attracting derisory audiences.[3][4]

A remake in Hindi called Bumboo was released in 2012.[5]


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