On a Volé la Cuisse de Jupiter (1980)

vt Jupiter’s Thigh
France / 101 minutes / color / Ariane, Mondex, F.R.3 Dir: Philippe de Broca Pr: Alexandre Mnouchkine, Georges Dancigers, Robert Amon Scr: Michel Audiard Based on: characters created in the Commissaire Tanquerelle books by Jean-Paul Rouland and Claude Olivier Cine: Jean-Paul Schwartz Cast: Annie Girardot, Philippe Noiret, Francis Perrin, Catherine Alric, Marc Dudicourt, Paulette Dubost, Roger Carel, Anna Gaylor, Gabriel Cattand, Philippe Brizard, Nikos Tsachiridis, Nikos Dafnis, Vassilis Colovos (i.e., Vasilis Kolovos), Alexandre Mnouchkine

Tendre Poulet (1977; vt Dear Inspector; vt Dear Detective) was one of my favorite movies watched in 2019, so naturally I had very high hopes for this, its sequel. Well, the good news is that On a Volé la Cuisse de Jupiter is really very amusing; the bad news is that it’s not a patch on its predecessor, I think because it’s self-consciously a screwball comedy involving crime rather than a crime movie with a wonderful sense of humor.

Annie Girardot as Lise

The puzzling news is that there’s not the slightest reference to the thigh of Jupiter (“la cuisse de Jupiter”) in the movie. According to a commenter on the Word Reference forum,

The god [Dionysius] was said to be born out of Jove’s leg. Se croire sorti de la cuisse de Jupiter means to believe that you are someone much more important than the others, like the son of the greatest of gods. It’s a set expression in French, and very derogatory toward the one who believes this about himself.

That doesn’t seem quite to fit either: it’d mean the title translated as something like “Someone has stolen the source of the bee’s knees.” There’s a little twist right at the end of the movie that Continue reading