Tandem (1987) - full transcript

Michel Mortez is going to and fro France to compere a radio game he created 25 years ago. He is famous among the average Frenchmen. But he is also a poker. Rivetot, his assistant and technician, always goes with him. He is the only one to know what really lies under Mortez's appearance of playful don Juan. When the programme is condemned by the managers, Rivetot delays as long as possible the moment he will have to announce it to Mortez... Both malicious and tender, this bitter comedy also shows nostalgia.

Dammit, Rivetot, you're a pain!
What's wrong?

I didn't want to run it over!


- The dog!
- What dog?

A huge red dog.
Never saw one like it!

Crossed the road
right in front of us...

Thought I'd got him...

You hurt?

So where is this dog?
Maybe we could adopt him...


I'm not dreaming!

A big dog, bright red,

looked all bloody!

- I dunno.
- I'm not nuts!

You must have dozed off a second.

Or maybe you're hallucinating...

Damn! Almost under my wheels!

What was it?

A huge dog with feverish eyes,


You too!

It was no dream, Michel!

This area's known
for its big red dog that's always

crossing roads
to test drivers' reflexes.

Look out!

I'm lost!

Filthy beast must've quit for the day,
or gotten scared off.

It's no joke, Michel!

Want to wait for dark, and see
if the dog dances in our headlights?

Or do we get going now?

Wait a minute!

You're Michel Mortez! Amazing!
Come on, we'll get a snapshot!



Don't move, sir, or you'll blur... OK...


Rivetot, give me some light.
I can't see a thing.

It's me, dear...
Yes, it's me, my love...

Certainly not!
Do it if you must!

Rio in April, that's sure.

Wonderful! What luck!

No, if you've got a date,
don't change it on my account.

I don't want my call to make you late.

Of course...

What? You want a kiss?

Consider yourself kissed... all over!

All OK?

It's complicated...

Don't complain. She loves you.

So she says.

We reserved: Mortez and Rivetot.

You're the gentlemen from the radio!

Oh, Mr Mortez!

Yes, we're holding 2 rooms for you.

We expected you earlier.

We were held up
by a red dog with yellow eyes.

Did it bite you?

It wouldn't have dared!

Don't worry, I'll survive.

You scared me.

Such funny things happen
these days.

Have you... a room with twin beds?

Yes, why?

We'll take it.

But you reserved 2 rooms...

Changed our minds. Just one room...

I have both rooms, or more if you like.
Things are slow now.

My driver's a diabetic

and needs constant care.

If I'm not with him,
he may wake up dead in the morning,

which would tarnish
your hotel's reputation.

So we want a room with twin beds.

I had no idea... sorry...

- Shall I take up the bags?
- Don't bother, thanks.

Bright idea! I look like an idiot!

No you don't.

Michel, what's wrong?

You alright, can you hear me?

Is Mr Mortez sick?

It's OK, take the bags to the room!

I'm alright.

Up we go!

I'm supposed to be the diabetic,
and you pass out!

Straighten up, the owner's here.

You saw nothing, nothing's wrong.

You OK? You'll be OK.

Is the room satisfactory?

It's fine...

Just fine.

Do you serve food?

Can we dine?

The dining room is closed now.

I must insist, my dear.
We've had a long, hard drive,

and we'd love to... eat something.

Maybe my husband
can heat something up.

We'll shower and be right there.

Like me to serve the dessert?

- We're ready.
- It was very good.

Sorry, there's only
one piece of pie left.

Pie home-made?

Not exactly, but it's good.

Shall we split it?

Fruit for you, crust for me.


I've a deficit of $800!

- Hear me?
- You added wrong.

So now it's my fault!

It's always your fault!

What nerve!

Did you swipe it?

So? It's not your money.

That's true,

but it's my worry.

Did you take it?

Everything OK? Enjoy your dinner?

It was perfect!

If I'd asked,
you'd have lent me $800?

Of course not!

You see?

I knew it was you. That's crummy!

I figure I'm $5,500 in the hole!

How do I square it?

Quit moaning. I'll pay it back.

When, may I ask?

Any time you say!
Tonight, if you like!

Is the casino open now
in your delightful town?

No, it's closed.

Too bad!

$800 more or less, what's it matter?

I'm sick of covering up for you!

You hurt me, Rivetot. So petty!

Petty? You're calling me petty?

Because of your debts
we have to stay in... fleabags

and share a room to cut costs!

I've no privacy!

Privacy's wasted on you.

Maybe, but go easy, Michel!

I'm tired, I'm going to bed.

Good night.

After 20 years,
you must get fed up with it sometimes.

You joking?
Since "Guess What?" began,

I reckon I've asked 94,203 questions

and met 18,603 contestants.

I'm not like a stage actor,
always saying the same lines,

with the same cast, every evening.

For me, each day is different...

so as for being fed up... hardly!

Hurry, you'll be late
picking contestants.

- I'm being interviewed.
- They're waiting!

Go on, Mr Mortez, I'll do OK.

You've only asked me 2 questions.

Never mind.
When were you last in our city?

In March 2 years ago.

I'll pick up the article
the paper did then.

He's an asshole!

Quit that!

Don't bang on it, nut!

Know what that mike is worth?

Let's rehearse the applause.
When I raise my arms, applaud.

When I lower them: silence.

Let's try it. Ready?

You call that applause?
Let's hear it 10 times louder!


Terrific! You're terrific!

Last spot. You're on in 90 seconds.

Paris sunny?

So-so. And you?

Not great.

Hang on.
In 2 months you'll have a studio job.


You didn't know?
They're dropping the Mortez show.

Don't kid around...

I'm not. We've known for a week!

Can't be!

Must be a mistake.
Did we get a new time slot?

Can you hear me?
Check if they've rescheduled us.

Know what's replacing us?

30 seconds more... You're on!

Thanks, Jerry, for that hit tune.
Now for our daily date

with Michel Mortez, in Maraise

today to play "Guess What?"

Good people of Maraise,
is everything alright?


we are in Maraise,
near the county seat of Frignac,

where we'll appear next week.


Maraise is justly proud
of its fine 12th-century castle,

which was heavily damaged
by World War ll bombings.

a flower-decked, smiling city

famous nationwide for its clothing
and household appliances!

Don't ever do that to me again!

Mr Vaillant, you're too young
to remember June '44.

How long have you lived in Maraise?

I settled here

6 years ago.

You're a high school
science teacher?

Yes indeed,

physics and chemistry.

My subjects aren't popular.

I often envy art teachers.

"It's an Australian state,
a Canadian port, an African lake."

That's his voice!


I'm the repairman.


Only 5 seconds left!

I know it...

I know it...

Time's up!

Can't guess what it is?

I'm really sorry. I'll bet
lots of listeners know the answer.

It's Victoria Falls, of course.

I knew it!

I was afraid to say it!


but the question

was fairly simple.

Born in 1778,
he died in Paris in 1850,

worked on the expansion of gasses

and steam, discovered such laws

as that of thermal coefficients.

Who was this French physicist
whose first name

was Louis-Joseph?

Easy! Louis-Joseph Gay Lussac!

The question wasn't for you!

Sorry, madam,
but it makes no difference.

You were already well ahead.

Would you like to stake it all?

No, I'll stop now.

As you like. That $160 bonus

will make tomorrow's pot
worth $4,500!

So be with us tomorrow
for another round

of "Guess What?"

Maraisiens, bless you all!

Philippe, you swear
you weren't conning me before?

What language do you want it in?

The show's off! Exit Mortez!

Why haven't we heard?

You will. An official letter
went out this morning.

Good luck breaking the news
to the MC.

That's shitty!

Michel, we must talk!

In a minute!

It's important!

Michel... get up!

It's nothing!

Why wear yourself out
if you need that to keep going?

Don't lecture me...
You're not my daddy...

You have to know when to quit.

Real talent quits at its peak,
before it starts fading.

I'll die first.
If it takes dozens of shots in the ass,

I'll do what counts: go on stage!

You can shove your advice!

Can I have an autograph?

Of course.

- Your name?
- It's Michel, too.

For Michel...

from Michel!

My pleasure.

What'd you want, earlier?

It wasn't important.

You're leaving?



- Got any ideas?
- No, just wondered.

A new town every day...
no time to make friends.

You like this job?

Sure. We travel, see places.

Switzerland and Belgium last year.

Hotels, restaurants,
driving in all weather,

with my buddy...

I owe this program's success to you...

to my audience who,
for 20... no, 25 years...

has listened to and encouraged me.
I drink to your loyalty!

Your health!


This isn't here to look at.
Let's have some!

So long, girls.

Will you be back?

If we ever do come back,

you'll be married, with a family...

Lucky you!

You have kids?

Wish I did. Mortez won't let me!

It'd be tough on the kid:
a new school every day...

Take care, darlings!

The boss said
he wanted the show for 10 years!

I was floored! Yet it was true.

It's terrif...

That'll be my driver.

Here I am gossiping
and we've got a long drive ahead!

Thank you all for everything!

People of Maraise, be happy!

Sorry about today.

You'll do better next time!

The worst of it is, I knew the answer.

Everyone did,
your mind went blank... Bye!

Speaking of blanks,
we're off to Mezoches!

We'd better be!

Look, Michel!

It's the 4th one!

The 4th what?

Guy on a bridge!

They must not have
anything better to do.

He's no bother.

He bothers me!
Someday one of them'll go wacko

and drop his bike on a car!

You'll see!

I'm not crazy about 'em...
they make you thirsty.

What about champagne?

They're making me sick.

You threw up.

I don't get it.

Why waste food on people
with weak stomachs!

My folks had a gas meter
in their garage.

As a kid, I spent hours
watching the numbers turn.

Every 10 digits,
the 2 right-hand digits turned together.

I'd wait ages to see 3 digits turn.
As for 4...

that was an event!

When they cooked lunch, I'd go watch:
the numbers turned faster.

I'd wait for 3 digits to turn,
then leave.

The hours I spent with that meter!

With electricity,
your youth would've been boring!

An electricity meter works the same way.

But without the steady tick,
so it's less fun!

You did weird things too, no?

I spent my youth in a casino
watching the wheel spin.

My parents were diplomats,
as you know...

but too poor for a baby-sitter,
so they took me gambling.

I had a system,
and broke the bank every night.

I was barred from casinos,
but I didn't care.

By then I could afford a baby-sitter!

You don't believe me?

Sure I do.

In Las Vegas
they even named a room after you.

You don't believe me!

You set it for cotton?

What is it?

A call from Paris for Mr Mortez.

He's out!

He's asleep!


He's to call Mr Gautier
at the radio station.

It's urgent.
Any time up to 8:00 p.m.

- Sorry.
- It's just that he's asleep.

Who was it?

They got the wrong room.

She pretty?

Not really.

Too bad.

What's on TV tonight?

We don't have TV.

Good for you!

I'll go to bed.

How about going out on the town?

This dump by night, thanks!

Miss, we want to roam a bit.

What's there to do?

It's 9:00 p.m., everything's closed.

What's at the movies?

I'll ask my boss.

You know what's on at the Cameo?

"Dr Zhivago",
but it's already started.

I was telling your lovely maid,
we're not sleepy.

Do you have an intelligent game,
like Scrabble?

Not Scrabble!

What's that?

Scrabble is a game
in which you make words out of letters.

Don't know it.
We mostly get salesmen here.

You don't say!

My son has a Monopoly set,
if you'd like.

You'll see, Monopoly's a blast!

Let's use real money!

We'll be bored stiff.

I'll buy Rue de la Paix.

You're in trouble!

The Neuville Casino must be open!
Let's go.

Your turn.
If you land on me, it'll cost you!

You'll owe me a fortune!

Watch the houses!

You almost got wiped out!

I am wiped out. You win.

You'll catch up, the game's not over!

Play by yourself, I'm going to bed.

Sure, Monopoly alone!
You're no fun, Michel!

We'll throw dice to see
who gets the double bed.

You can have it.

Guess who has to tidy up.

Who'll put you to bed?

Sack o' potatoes!

When'll your lousy folks get home?

Don't know? Me neither.

No space for you in our room.

And my buddy's a pain.

Anyone here?

Give me $100.

What's going on?

Shut up!

Give me $100!

What is it?
Spot that red dog again?

No, look!



reads 53,135 miles.

So what?

The figure reads the same forwards...

and backwards!

What about it?

That's all.

Amazing, no?

I'll bet $100 you don't know
the next two-way number.


You owe me $100.

I didn't bet!

Are you crazy?

Sorry. I thought... the bike...

on the bridge...

Of course I believe you, darling!
Why wouldn't I?

Let me talk!

Wednesday... Let them know first!

Don't tell me...

I love you so!

Of course I'll tell him.

I promise.

If you want.

You'll wear the blue one, won't you?

Any mail for Mr Mortez?
We reserved a room.

I'll look.


Nothing here, sir.

When's the mail come?

- 10:00 a.m., sir.
- We'll be gone by then.

We've got a room, Michel!

Michel Mortez...

From the radio.

- Will this do?
- Fine.

What's wrong?

A pang of anxiety.

Lie down, it'll go away.

The 2 beds, the night table...

the wall fixtures, the pictures,
the closet-sized bathroom...

the shiny polyester bedspreads...

and the goddam smell!

Calm down, it's only a hotel room.

Rivetot, get me out!
I can't breathe. I'll scream!

Can I ask you a question?


Did you really romance movie stars?

Who told you that?

Friends, and I heard it on the radio,
but no one's sure.

What do you think?

I don't know.

If they say it, it must be true.


Did you know other actresses?


singers, dancers.
We had fun after the war,

lots of fun.

I mean... famous ones?


Before your time.

You dance?

Don't like to dance?

Yeah, but not...!

Shall we?

You're drunk.

I can still dance.
You can lead, if you like.

No, please, not tonight. I'm tired.

You're no fun!

We're always together,
yet we hardly know each other.

It's a funny feeling.

Really weird.

Yeah, weird.

We're friends anyway?

Of course, Michel.

Then it's alright.

Come on. It's 3:00 a.m.
I'm beat!

It's 2:45!
Think I'm too drunk to tell time?

Close the door, it's still open!

Come out or I'll split
and you can get home on your own.

So split!

Mortez is not through yet!

You thought you cleaned him out...

He's still on his feet!

You still here?

You're nuts! You've lost enough!

Get a grip on yourself!

$10,000! 10 grand!

Don't bug me!

You're some let-down
when you're drunk!

You can't blow $10,000 more!

Think so, little turd?

I'm a lord, Lord Mortez!

Lord Mortez wants to have fun tonight!


Chips, goddam it!

Give me some chips!

Lord Mortez is back!

I'll take chips for this!
Don't keep Lord Mortez waiting!

Give me that! He's sick!

You little jerk,
who are you to say I'm sick?

I'm a lord, a prince!

You're just a little shit!

Spin the wheel, my boy!

That's enough!

We're going home.

Nice weather here, eh?

You passing through?

I got you a coffee.

Careful, it's hot.

Your pal ain't talky.

He's mean when he talks.

His kind got no time
for a gas pumper!

Know who he is?

Should I?

No, who is he?

Michel Mortez, "Guess What?"

The bum from radio?

He still alive?

Is he weird!

On the radio, you don't see 'em.

Doesn't it bug him,
doing the same crap for 20 years?

It doesn't "bug" him:
he loves his job, so he can do it forever!

He'll die on the job
because he's a real pro.

Too pro to talk to guys like me?

Check the oil?

Don't open that hood,
you'll be stuck there all night.

You'll flood it!

I know my car.
Does that when it's overheated.


Have a good trip.

- How can they!
- What?

Look at those jerks!


Pull up. I'll tell 'em they're jerks.
Bet they don't know.

Leave 'em alone, they're harmless.

I can't stand people that dumb!

If they wanna eat at the side of the road,
it's their right!

That's not the point...

I bet fifty feet away
there's a grassy meadow...

ideal for picnicking.

No, they eat by the roadside!

They're dumb, I say!

Michel, that's your audience.

I owe the success of my show to you,

the audience that for 20 years...

I mean, 25 years...

has listened to and encouraged me.

I drink to your loyalty.


By asking questions you learn a lot, no?

Of course!

I have a few questions
I made up myself.

I was going to send them to your show.

May I test them on you?

You mind?

Not at all.

What Russian dancer born
in St Petersburg in 1885,

became British,
premiered Fokine's ballets,

and starred
in countless classical ballets?

You said born 1885?

Careful, Mr Mortez.

You only have 30 seconds.

This is silly...

Time's up! Can't guess?

Sorry, I don't have a clue!

Her name was Tamara Karsavina.

You didn't know her?

I've heard of her...

I hope you do better
on the next question.

It's about Egypt: what name
did the Pharaoh Amenophis IV...

Get off duty soon?

At 9:30.

Busy later?

Letter for you: it came this morning.
I forgot to give it to you.

It's from the radio,
for you friend. Sorry.

How can something so small
make so much shit fly?

You gutsy?

Wanna earn $2 on a secret mission?

Thought it over?

Can I buy you a drink?

The timekeeper's bored!

He's alone in a dump,
he needs a friendly shoulder...

I love to chat... and timekeeping
won't set the world on fire.

So you decided
you could set it on fire with me?

Listen, I wasn't trying to hustle you...

You're in luck... I feel chatty too.
Outside at 9:30, OK?

Yeah... sure, OK!

Think before you answer, Mr Mortez.

One more error and you're out!

Which lady is this gentleman's wife?

I'm tempted to say... this lady.

Wrong again!

She's not the notary's wife,

she's married to René Menguy,

our druggist.

At least I hope so!

To redeem yourself,

tell us whose wife
this charming lady is.

Starting... now!

I think the lady is married to...

this man.

Mr Mortez!
You're doing it on purpose!

We've already established
he's married to this lady!

And he's no bigamist!

It was a trap:

The lady's married to no one:
she's divorced!


I meant no offense...

You didn't know
this was the Jerks Club!

Let's move the game
into the living room.

Like dancing? I spotted a disco
on the outskirts of town...

Don't worry,
I'll take you home later.

And I get a "Guess What?" T-shirt,
if I try it right on?

Why not?

You'll be horny and I'll be sleepy
and it'll be 3 a.m.!

Listen, let's cut corners...
I feel like it now...

And I live right nearby...

How about it, timekeeper?

Mr Mortez, we've had a wonderful time!
Call us if you're...

You bet! 'Bye!

They loved it: now they can say
"Michel Mortez was at our home..."

"The radio star?"... "Yep!"...

- You're in the sticks here!
- You can say that again!

I'll drop you at your hotel.

No need, a walk will do me good.

I insist...
You're at the "William the Conqueror"?

Yes, that's it...
William the Conqueror.

Only decent hotel here.
The others are dumps.


Here we are... Good night,
good luck with tomorrow's show.

Wake the night porter.
You can't sleep outside.

Don't wait...
Must be a door for night owls.

I doubt it...
Wake him up, it's his job.

Don't wait!

You'll laugh...

I doubt it.

...but I'm at the wrong hotel.

Should've given me the right address.

You angry?

This is silly...
I don't know what to say.

Don't say anything.

I've been watching you...

You intrigue me.

In what way?

I think you're very shy... am I right?

It's true... women intimidate me.

I don't believe you.

Yes, for instance, with you...

I'm quite flustered...

So am I...

And I enjoy it... Don't you?


Your voice...

I'm sensitive to voices, of course...

And yours is...

very, very special...

I like it a lot.

I knew you weren't
what you seemed to be.

That's not very nice.

Why not?

I read your book, your memoirs.

Piece of crap!

Why do you say that? I found it...

fast-paced, original, well written.

You should write a sequel,
you're talented.

I'm in radio, not a writer.

Sorry, but you deserve better.

Not the life of a travelling clown.
And you know it.

Why do you say that?
What do you know of my life?

I created this show, gave it life:
it'll die with me.

Know what my daily audience is:
3 million!

Impressive, no?

So go back to your bookstore,

and don't pity me.

Why are you like that?

Because I'm tired, miss.

I'm tired...

So leave me alone.

I'm sorry, I meant no harm.

Well, it's done.

May I have a drink?

Of course, sir...

Sorry, it's late.

No problem...
That's what I'm here for...

- What'll it be?
- A brandy.

Will you join me?

With pleasure.

I thought your job'd be more fun.

You think girls fall at our feet
because we're in radio?

Going from town to town
you seldom get...

That's why I like to screw guys
who are passing through...

That really turns me on...

You sound like a guy.

Maybe you just screwed a drag queen!

That's not funny!

I bet you're married.



I'm kinda married,
but my wife no longer is.

So you jerk off?

Guys won't admit things like that.


No... but...

Your pal get any sex?

I can't imagine Mortez screwing.

Because he's your boss.

Ever thought of your parents
having an orgasm?

Stop, that's a turn off!

- You got weird ideas.
- Didn't you want to chat?


Shall we tidy up?

Forget the mess and take care of me...
You'll tidy up later.

World War I wasn't for sissies!

You get it in the gut,
you grin and bear it!

Only yellowbellies
shit in their pants!

But I'm fearless, Mr Mortez,
a real tough guy!

I stick my bayonet up their asses!

What do you say to that?

I say I'm tired.
I'm going to bed.

Care for a blow job, Michel?

A blow...

No thanks.

You sleep fully dressed now?

So as not to wake you.
Weren't you asleep?


- Were the local VIP's fun?
- A riot.

'Night, Michel.

We have to get up in 15 minutes.

Looking at this road...

Know what the Swedes invented?

They've grown a variety
of pure white grass,

like an endive...

There's no photosynthesis,
so it's not green,

it's white.

That so?

They grow it at roadsides,
and up the middle,

so they don't have to paint
any more white lines. Shrewd, eh?


I can make you swallow anything!

You asleep?

No, just a little bushed.

Want me to drive?

Do you want me to drive?

I didn't dare ask you, but...
if you don't mind...

Got your license?
If the cops stop us...

Forget it!

I believe you!

I was only trying to avoid trouble.

You're a kid in the photo.

Taken when?

I was 20.

No wonder you look young.

You'll look the same at 50 as now.

Because you already look old.

Can we cut the crap now?

Mortez isn't your real name?

It's my stage name.

South America was the rage then,

so I changed Mortaud to Mortez

to sound more... exotic.

You could have changed
your first name, too...

Miguel Mortez: sounds great!

People would marvel
at your lack of accent.

With that name
you could've been an operetta star.

Never thought of it. A wasted life!

I should have met you sooner.

You are in a bad mood!

Huh? Whazza matter?

Go to sleep!

You've eaten enough!

There are limits!
Pack up your stuff!

You're disgracing the landscape!

I like winter:
it spares me the sight of you!

We need an esthetics squad to ban

track suits outside of stadiums!

Stop, Michel!

They multiply!

Let's take away their children!
Or best of all:

sterilize them!

We'll be late for the show!

That's my audience?

No, a lot of them have lunch at home.

The French!

Cut it out, Michel!

What's the hold-up! Go!

Goddam heap!


It always does this when it's hot!

Goddammit to hell!

We're screwed: it's flooded!

Now what?

Nothing, we're stuck!

We can't hitchhike
with all our equipment!

We have 45 minutes... not a hope!

Listen, Rivetot,

in 25 years I've never missed a show:

sick, feverish, whatever...
I've never missed a date

with my listeners. And no lousy car
will make me miss today's!

Sorry, Michel!

Stay here!

Please forgive what I said.
I don't know what got into me.

I'm Miguel... Michel Mortez,
I'm on radio...

You know: "Guess What?"

We're due on, live, in 40 minutes

and we're having car trouble.

I wonder if you could help us out!

12:45, time to join

Michel Mortez for "Guess What?",

coming to you direct today
from Bregance...

In fact, I'm 12 miles
from that charming fishing port.

We're trying an experiment today

that will go down in radio history:

a completely improvised program

with some charming travelers
lunching at the roadside.

Our first question for Mr Gora,

our first contestant:

name the German doctor
and microbiologist,

born in Clausthal in 1843,
died in 1910,

who saved thousands of human lives

with his discovery in 1882

of the tuberculosis bacillus.

You have 30 seconds, starting...


Is he famous?

Very. The TB bacillus
was named after him.

Stop eating while we talk!

I don't know... Einstein?

No, not Einstein. The answer is:

Robert Koch!
Never heard of the Koch bacillus?

It doesn't speak to me...
I don't know... sorry.

Never mind, Mr Gora,
here's an easier question:

Name Bartholdi's great statue,
starting... Now!

As a hint, I can tell you
it stands in New York's harbor.

I don't have a clue... no!

Time to end the show.

Our contestants have been unlucky:

they failed to answer
any of our questions.

We now return you
to our studio in Paris.

Thanks. You saved our lives!

Don't mention it.

You can't leave like that.

Have dessert with us!


We hear your show often,

eh, Jeanne?

Tough questions...
I even miss some on sports.

There's a message for Mr Mortez:

call Mr Gautier today without fail.

The number's there.

I know the number.

He sounded mad.

It's Rivetot, Mr Gautier.

He's not here,
but he told me to call you...

You can't drop him like that...

You'll kill him!
Give him some notice.

We never got your letters...

no messages, nothing!

How could we call if we didn't know?

I'll tell him when he comes in.

He'll call you back.

Yes, just one thing:

you're a louse!

'Bye, Mr Gautier.

Today's show really picked me up.

I didn't realize it at first,

but now I think
improvising's a great idea!

A switch from the routine
of coached contestants, no?

Yeah, sure...

It doesn't grab you?

Sure, it's great...

My coat in the way?

I'll put it up to Gautier
Friday in Paris.

It'd go better on TV...

all those surprise contestants' faces.

A great idea:

I'll call it
"The Surprise Contestant"!

Some people'll be amazed
in Paris Friday.

You said it.

A Mexican politician born in 1880,

he led a peasant revolt,
dreamed of land reform,

but was slain in 1919.

Marlon Brando
played him in the movies.

Know who he was?

No, who?


I am thinking,
but it's no use if I don't know.

I'll help you.
His initials were E.Z.

E.Z. And you think that helps...

Etienne Zaza?

Eugene Zanzibar?

This one's a rag.
Do I throw it away?

He was Emiliano Zapata!

No, keep it, I'm very fond of it.

Let's try again. When I raise my arms,
applaud like mad!

One, two, three!

Still too weak.
Later you'll have to...

Think it'll work?

We'll see. It'll have to work!

Ready? One, two, three!

Mayor got his wires crossed.
Crowd's thin, but it's the cream...

The rest are out watching a bike race.

Never mind, they look nice.
I'm pleased to be here...

Reminds me of my early days.

Are you glad to be here?

You're on in 2 minutes!

Got all your little machines laid out?

Why're you putting on this act?

What act?

What's it all about?

Don't want to tell me the show's off?

You plan to keep this up?

More fake shows, fake contestants,
a fake audience

from an old folks' home?

Let me explain...

Never mind.

I know all about it.

Have you known long?


I don't want to see your efforts wasted.

We'll do your show.

Good people of Erbusson,
are you happy?

Nestled in the hills,
the medieval town of Erbusson

is rich in history
and famed for its gastronomy.

Erbusson is proud
of its 12th-century cloister,

its castle, its old houses

and its celebrated city walls...

Yes, snookums, it's me.

I'm so glad to hear your voice, my love!

A day without you
is a day without sun.

I'll be home tonight.

Nothing serious, you'll see...

I can see you off to Buenos Aires.

I'll tell you all about it...

I love you, dear...

I miss you more every day...

At the signal,
the time will be exactly...

1:44 p.m...

1:44 and 10 seconds...

You OK?


Well, did you see Gautier?

How about a drink?

I'm buying.

The wanderers are home.

Everybody still happy, Mr Mortez?

What'll you have?

I don't care.

Two brandies, please.

I wanted to tell you...

It's disgusting!

Now what happens?

We're on up to Christmas,
every other day.

Pick me up tomorrow at 6 a.m.

Can I drop you off?

It's the new CX... You know, the...


How do you stop this damn thing?


You there?

It's me, Rivetot!

Let's go?

You OK?

Shall we go, Rivetot?

Seats, power steering,
air-cushioned suspension...

In a car like this,

I'll do all of France!

I love new cars.

They smell new.

Look, electric windows.

If you want fresh air, just ask.

Cars never bore me, I'm like a kid.

I'll close it... you'll catch cold.

Lower it, my hair's caught.


Quiet as a whisper, eh?

We're not on the sidelines:

our new pace will help the show.

Now I have more time to prepare it.

Yes. You'd gone a bit stale?

That's for my audience to judge.
But I never feel stale!

We'd better go.

Be right there... See you later!

The organizers are competent and nice.
It'll be a great show.

Good... Be a shame if I screwed up
today after 26 years!

No tie?

It's only radio.

But you usually...

Don't worry, everything's fine...

Meet the Mayor.

Delighted, Your Honor!

You're on in 3 minutes.

Roll the logo after the 2 spots.

Ready? 2 minutes!

No, Mortez isn't here.

Where is he?

Dunno. He was here 5 minutes ago.

He'd better hurry.
I'm rolling the first spot.

Wait... Here he...

No, it's not him.

Where is he?

I guess he split... Don't you get it?

You mean?

I mean he flipped, asshole!

Now, dear lady...

For a fabulous bonus of $400,000...

Keep cool...

First I thank our TV audience

for being with us today...

it's to keep the suspense going...

As I was saying,
it's a $400,000 question...

Please tell me...

I don't have my card?

Where's my card, Rivetot?

Where's that Rivetot?

Don't get upset, dear lady.
We'll find the question.

Rivetot, my boy.

We're on the air and I don't
have my card... Where are you?

Rivetot, my boy...
Yes, dear lady, it's this camera...

How exhausting, what a mess...

Where has he gone?

Rivetot, working live is so silly...
on television...

Sorry?... What?...

Yes, you do know, sir...
You have 30 seconds...

If he doesn't know,
then the lady must... C.R.P...

Bravo, miss. You're a winner!

C.R.P. stands for
Certified Regional Produce.

Sorry, sir, your answer was wrong.

You should've spoken up, sir.

it's only a game!

Miss, you win

a fabulous bottle
of Chateau Malescasse!

Now for a somewhat harder question...

What does "chaptalization" mean?

Anyone know? You there?

No one knows... "chaptalization"?

I do!

He knows! Good!



You, here?

It's the second time I ever stole...

My first time I was 9...
From my mom's purse.

All kids get away with that.
I got nabbed!

Now I'm in the shit
over some sliced salami.

You still work in radio?


It's called staff reduction...

I was among the first to go.

That's lousy.

What'll you do?

I don't know.

I wait... I stick around.

And you?

I'm still rambling...
Here on day, gone the next...

I do p.a. work for ads,
sales meetings, supermarket specials...

I haven't time to be bored!

Here... Beat it,
and don't let me catch you here again!

Next time I grab you,
you won't like it!

Hey, take it easy...
Mr Rivetot's a friend of mine!

Watch your manners!

Last week I was in Nantes
for a mobile-homes dealer.

I tell him about my games, T-shirts...

the whole bit...

He says: "Mortez,
I'm a businessman, not a clown!"

I said to him: "I, sir, am a clown!

"And I know how to sell
your mobile homes!"

Next day he was sold out.

Nothing left in stock!

And your wife?

I agreed to a divorce.
I live alone now, it's OK...

That's yours?

Lucky guy!

Had it long?

6 months. It's my third one.

I tried to contact you,
but you'd moved.

No one knew how to reach you.

I know, I dropped out for a while.

Your health?

It's fine. I was overworked.

My brain was tired, too.

Aren't you bored,
all alone in this big car?

You mean, do I miss you?

So I pick up girls hitch-hiking!

Great car!

Want to drive it?

For someone who hates to drive,
you splurged!

I could live in a car like this!

Still see red dogs?


Like to look for one near Bordeaux?
I'm due tonight.

No kidding?

No kidding.


I can't believe it.

We leave when?



Is this where you lived?


Take a good look at the landscape...

We won't be back this way for a while!