Director: Pierre Étaix
Year Released: 1965
Clown Yoyo (as a boy, Philippe Dionnet, as an adult, Étaix himself), the product of a rich-man-turned-poor-travelling-entertainer, is arrested by the Nazis, gets free, becomes a popular TV personality and repurchases his father's old mansion, except there's a great deal of emptiness in his life. There is no shortage of cute 'gags' on display - the rolling pearl, for example - but the 'plot' is a little choppy: Étaix was clearly more concerned with the visual comedy than the narrative, which amounts to the somewhat trite 'riches cannot buy you happiness' moral. Despite its structural flaws, it's still full of energy and very clever, and the lamentation that television is 'killing' the performing arts can be carried over to today with the Internet: just get out of your house and go see a show, in person, with your hard earned bucks. The performers will welcome your contribution.