La Classe américaine

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La Classe américaine
Directed byMichel Hazanavicius
Dominique Mézerette
Produced byÈve Vercel
Robert Nador
Michel Lecourt
Written byMichel Hazanavicius
Dominique Mézerette
StarringJohn Wayne
Dustin Hoffman
Robert Redford
Paul Newman
Music byLaurent Petitgirard
Edited byJean-Michel Kuess
Guy Rondi
Distributed byCanal+ Group
Warner Bros. Television (All Media)
Release date
  • 1993 (1993)
Running time
70 minutes

La Classe américaine ("American Class"), also known as Le Grand Détournement (The Great Détournement), is a 1993 French television film, written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius and Dominique Mézerette. It consists exclusively of extracts of old Warner Bros. films, put together and dubbed with new lines so as to create an entirely new film.


The film begins with the following lines appearing on screen, complete with deliberate spelling mistakes: "Attention! Ce flim n'est pas un flim sur le cyclimse. Merci de votre compréhension." ("Attention! This flim is not a flim about cyclign. Thank you for your understanding.")

The story begins with the death of George Abitbol (John Wayne), described as the classiest man in the world, somewhere near the fictitious atoll of Pom Pom Galli in the South Pacific. Reporters Dave (Paul Newman), Peter (Dustin Hoffman) and Steven (Robert Redford) investigate his death by going to meet people who knew him during his life in Texas. They mostly investigate his last words: "Monde de merde" (French for "Shitty world"). This movie is a parody of Citizen Kane. Pom Pom Galli was taken from the Wayne movie The Sea Chase.



Warner Bros. had given the French film and television studio Canal+ Group the rights to use extracts of Warner Bros. films. Hazanavicius and Mézerette set about producing an entire film from cut-and-paste existing footage, and hired the usual French dubbers of John Wayne (Raymond Loyer) and Kirk Douglas (Roger Rudel) to dub them here too. La Classe américaine, which lasts seventy-two minutes, incorporates scenes cut from about fifty films, including All the President's Men, Band of Angels, Blood Alley, Bullitt, The Candidate, Chisum, The Cowboys, The Crimson Pirate, and When Time Ran Out.

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