The Cow and I

La Vache et le Prisonnier (English version: "The Cow and I") is a French-Italian tragicomedy film from 1959, starring Fernandel and directed by Henri Verneuil, that is based on Jacques Antoine's 1945 novel, Une histoire vraie (A True Story). It tells the story of a French prisoner of war in World War II forced to work on a farm in Germany who decides to escape by walking away with a cow he calls Marguerite (Daisy in English).

La Vache et le Prisonnier
Directed byHenri Verneuil
Based onUne histoire vraie
by Jacques Antoine
StarringFernandel
Release date
  • 16 December 1959 (1959-12-16) (France)
Running time
118 minutes
CountryFrance
Italy
LanguageFrench

The most successful film in France in 1959, with over 8 million seats sold,[1] it was also the most successful film of Fernandel's career.

Plot

Charles Bailly, a French prisoner of war in Germany in the summer of 1943, decides to escape from the farm where he is forced to work and go home to France. Observing that a man with a cow and a milk pail passes unnoticed in the Bavarian countryside, his plan is to take one (who he names Marguerite) and to walk with her to Stuttgart, where he will leave her and hide aboard a train for France.

Their epic journey takes weeks, during which the two meet many people, some sympathetic and some not. They get into many situations, some dangerous and some hilarious. For example, on a narrow pontoon bridge over the Danube, Marguerite will not budge when a company of German soldiers tries to cross.[2]

Reaching Stuttgart, Bailly has to part from Marguerite and jumps on a train. At its first stop in France, he gets off but is challenged by French police. To escape them he jumps on another train, which viewers can see is heading for Stuttgart.

Cast

Production

The film was shot in black and white, and in 1990 a colorized version was released.

Reception

The film has become a national favourite, being shown often on television. Analysing its enduring popularity, a critic in 2017 wrote that the character created by Fernandel embodies: .. the typical Frenchman, in his stubbornness, resourcefulness and humanity.[3]

References

  1. fr:Liste des films numéro un par année en France
  2. "La Vache et le Prisonnier". Youtube.com. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  3. Télérama.fr, retrieved 16 March 2018


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.