WHAT WAS SO FUNNY ABOUT LES AVENTURES DE RABBI JACOB (1973): A Comedic Film between History and Memory

Mulvey, Michael
December 2017
French Politics, Culture & Society;Winter2017, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p24
Academic Journal
Film/Television Criticism
This article reappraises Gérard Oury's Les Aventures de Rabbi Jacob (1973), a comedy about a bigoted Frenchman and an Arab revolutionary disguised as orthodox rabbis, by considering the film's original historical context, its attention to traumatic memories, and its place inside French culture as a cinematic lieu de mémoire. Rabbi Jacob represented a comedic medium through which Oury addressed the serious themes of racism and antisemitism as he envisioned multicultural reconciliation between the French, Arabs, and Jews. Rabbi Jacob was inseparable from the history of Jews in France, their deportation during the Second World War, and the postwar acceptance that being Jewish was compatible with integration into France. At the same time, Rabbi Jacob portrayed Arabs as a series of (post)colonial stereotypes leading one pro-Palestinian supporter to hijack an airplane in protest. Rabbi Jacob records an optimistic moment at the close of the trente glorieuses and continues to serve as a source for narratives on philo-Semitism, tolerance, and anti-racism in France.


Related Articles

  • The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob. Liebenson, D. // Video Librarian;May/Jun2004, Vol. 19 Issue 3, p36 

    A review of the DVD release of the motion picture "The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob," directed by Gerard Oury and starring Louis de Funes is presented.

  • THE MAD ADVENTURES OF `RABBI' JACOB (Film).  // New Yorker;12/26/88, Vol. 64 Issue 45, p18 

    Reviews the motion picture "The Mad Adventures of `Rabbi' Jacob," a gangster comedy directed by Gerard Oury and starring Louis de Funes.

  • Strictly Kosher. COCKS, JAY // Time;8/26/1974, Vol. 104 Issue 9, p8 

    The article reviews the film "The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob," starring Louis de Fune, directed by Gerard Oury and screenplay by Danielle Thompson.

  • GÉRARDOURY (MAX-GÉRARD HOURY TANNENBAUM). Vincendeau, Ginette // Sight & Sound;Mar2007, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p32 

    An obituary is presented for Gérard Oury (Max-Gérard Houry Tannenbaum), the French director of the motion picture "La Grande Vadrouille."

  • Obituaries. Cox, Gordon; Nesselson, Lisa // Variety;7/31/2006, Vol. 403 Issue 10, p35 

    The article presents obituaries for several notable people including actor Robert Cornthwaite, theater critic Henry Hewes, actor Kurt Kreuger and director Gerard Oury.

  • The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob (Film). Mullins, Eddie; Wolf, Jessica // Video Store Magazine;3/14/2004, Vol. 26 Issue 11, p15 

    Reviews the motion picture "The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob," starring Louis de Funès and Marcel Dalio.

  • The Mad Adventures of 'Rabbi' Jacob. Gilliatt, Penelope // New Yorker;7/22/1974, Vol. 50 Issue 22, p66 

    The article reviews the motion picture "The Mad Adventures of 'Rabbi' Jacob," starring Louis de Funes and Claude Giraud.

  • The Mild Bunch.  // Time;12/5/1969, Vol. 94 Issue 23, p127 

    The article reviews the film "The Brain," starring Eli Wallach and David Niven, directed by Gerard Oury and Claude Clement.

  • The Art and Science of Reading Faces: Strategies of Racist Cinema in the Third Reich. Hansen, Jennifer // Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies;Fall2009, Vol. 28 Issue 1, p80 

    The article examines the Nazi's method of racial indoctrination through motion pictures in Nazi Germany. Particular attention is given to the cinematic techniques that were used in the 1940 Nazi propaganda film "Der ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew)." The author examines how the Third Reich's...

  • Top 5 Comic Duos. Bisson, Julien // France Today;Jun2010, Vol. 25 Issue 6, p35 

    The article reviews several French films including "La Grande Vadrouille" (Don't Look Now...We're Being Shot At), starring Louis de Funes and Bourvil, directed by Gérard Oury, "La Chèvre" (Knock on Wood), starring Gerard Depardieu and Pierre Richard, directed by Francis Veber, and "Les...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics