La Totale!

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La Totale!
Directed byClaude Zidi
Produced byJean-Louis Livi
Written byClaude Zidi
Simon Michaël
Didier Kaminka
Music byVladimir Cosma
CinematographyJean-Jacques Tarbès
Release date
18 December 1991
Running time
102 minutes
Box office$12.3 million[1]

La Totale ! is a 1991 French comedy film directed by Claude Zidi. James Cameron directed its 1994 American remake, True Lies.[2]


François Voisin is a telecommunications employee with an ostensibly unremarkable life. In reality François is a secret agent. He is reputed to be one of the best in his profession earning him the moniker l'Épée or, "The Sword". He hides his activities from his wife.

François is coming home on his fortieth birthday, for which his wife has secretly prepared a surprise party with old friends with whom he used to fence. He is called back by his colleague Albert for a mission involving planting a microphone in an arms smuggler's car. He succeeds after a struggle. As he arrives home, his friends mock his "boring" life.

The planted microphone leads the Secret Service to a prostitute. After infiltrating her apartment and planting a camera, they discover she is helping a missile expert and the smuggler to meet. They then intercept and destroy a missile convoy. Meanwhile, François' wife Hélène is living a monotonous life.

Hélène then meets Simon, who pretends to be a secret agent while in reality he is a car dealer living in a caravan. François discovers Hélène is meeting someone in secrecy and believes she is cheating. He therefore uses the agency's resources to spy on her and find out more about Simon. When Simon lures Hélène to his caravan, François kidnaps both of them. He makes his wife believe that Simon was a terrorist and then makes Helen believe she has to work for the agency to secure her freedom. She is unaware that François is behind this, and gets sent to a hotel room for a mission where he plans on surprising her. At this point, they both get kidnapped by henchmen of the arms dealer. After François admits his true identity to Helen, he manages for them to escape. They thwart the arms dealer's plan of blowing up a football stadium in Paris and all ends well.

The film concludes with François' forty-first birthday. He and Helen kidnap a dangerous man who turns out be Simon pretending to be someone else.



  1. ^
  2. ^ "Schwarzenegger Heats Up the Summer with Action-Packed True Lies". Electronic Gaming Monthly (61). EGM Media, LLC. August 1994. p. 169.

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