The Big Restaurant

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The Big Restaurant
Directed by Jacques Besnard
Produced by Gaumont International
Written by Jean Halain
Louis de Funès
Jacques Besnard
Starring Louis de Funès
Bernard Blier
Music by Jean Marion
Release date
7 September 1966 (France)
Running time
85 minutes (France)
82 minutes (Germany)
Country France
Language French/German

The Big Restaurant (French: Le Grand Restaurant), is a French comedy thriller film from 1966, directed by Jacques Besnard, written by Jean Halain and Louis de Funès, starring Louis de Funès and Bernard Blier. The film is known under the titles: "The Big Restaurant" (International English title), "What’s Cooking in Paris" (USA), "El gran restaurante" (Spain), "Das große Restaurant" (East Germany), "Oscar hat die Hosen voll" (West Germany), "Chi ha rubato il presidente?" (Italy).[1]


Septime runs a top Paris restaurant, fawning to customers (unless they are German) and bullying his staff. Novalès, head of a Latin American country who is on a state visit to France, comes to dinner and is served a speciality of the house, a flambéed dessert. When Septime lights it himself, it explodes.

Once the smoke has cleared, the President has vanished. The police, led by the commissaire, first think Septime arranged the abduction. When they realise he is innocent, they wire him up as a decoy, expecting the kidnappers to contact him. They do, telling him to meet them in the French Alps, where the police follow him. Enrique and Sophia, loyal aides of Novalès, also follow Septime to try and recover their boss.

After a chase through snow-covered mountains, Septime decoys the kidnappers into the hands of the police. Free and back in Paris, he is abducted and flown to the Mediterranean coast. In a beautiful garden he meets Novalès, who arranged his own abduction in order to have a holiday. But he knows he will have to go back to his duties and, returning to Paris, gives Septime the credit for finding him.

Coming with his aides for a last celebratory dinner at Septime's restaurant, they are served the special flambéed dessert. When Septime personally lights it, it explodes......



It was the eighth most popular movie at the French box office in 1966, after La Grande Vadrouille, Dr Zhivago, Is Paris Burning?, A Fistful of Dollars and Lost Command, A Man and a Woman and For a Few Dollars More.[2]


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