Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tintin et le mystère de la Toison d'Or / Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece

Tintti ja merirosvon aarre / Tintin och guldskatten / Tintin och sjörövarskatten. FR/BG 1961. PC: U.C.E. – Union Cinématographique Européenne / Alliance de Production Cinématographique. P: André Barret. D: Jean-Jacques Vierne. SC: André Barret, Rémo Forlani – based on the cartoon characters created by Hergé. DP: Raymond Pierre Lemoigne (Raymond le Moigne) – Eastmancolor –1,66:1. Underwater cinematography: Alain Boisnard. AD: Philippe Ancellin, Marilena Aravantinou (Marilene Aravantino), Jean-Pierre Thévenet (Pierre Thevenet). Make-up: Serge Groffe. M: André Popp. S: Guy Villette. ED: Léonide Azar (Leonid Azar). Loc: Istanbul (Turkey), Pireus (Greece). Cast: Jean-Pierre Talbot (Tintin), Georges Wilson (Captain Haddock), Georges Loriot (Professor Tournesol), [the brothers Gamonal, n.c.] (Dupont ja Dupond), Charles Vanel (Father Alexandre), Dario Moreno (Midas Papos), Dimos Starenios (Scoubidouvitch), Ulvi Uraz (Malik), Marcel Bozzuffi (Angorapoulos), Demetrios Myra (Karabine), Henri Soya (Clodion), Max Elloy (Nestor), Serge Marquand (mailman), Michel Thomass (Yéfime). The Greek music and dance ensemble: Dora Stratou (Panygrist de Dora Stratou). The dog: Milo (Milou). 103 min. A 1971 Suomi-Filmi re-release print with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Lea Joutseno / Maya Vanni. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (50 Years Ago), 14 Aug 2011.

Tintin et le mystère de la Toison d'Or is a live action movie not based on a pre-existing Hergé album. Instead, based on this film, a Hergé fotonovela album was published in French, Spanish, and English.

Tonnerre de Brest! Revisited a movie that I had not seen in 48 years. As a child I was a Tintin fan, and the four albums published in Finnish by WSOY were among my favourite reading. This movie did not disappoint me then, and already then I wanted to see it again, but sometimes one has to wait.

Tintin et le mystère de la Toison d'Or is light adventure entertainment for children. A strength of the Tintin albums is the sense of place, and similarly, in this movie it was a wise decision to shoot on location. The sunny landscapes of Turkey and Greece are perfect for the adventure. The famous characters are well cast. Jean-Pierre Talbot is a sportsman, and his action and fight scenes as Tintin are believable. Georges Wilson gets to play the most colourful character, Captain Haddock, with a short temper and a taste for drink. The villains operate under the cover of a company called Karexport. Professor Calculus (Tournesol) saves the day with his Super-Tryphoniol. The heroes finally discover the hidden gold treasure in the dilapidated cargo ship. In a nice twist ending Captain Haddock gets a decoration for having repatriated the treasure to South America. The prologue and the epilogue take place at Castle Moulinsart (Marlinspike Hall) with a scene with a mailman on bicycle, like in Jacques Tati's first feature film, and there is something Tatiesque in the approach of the movie. Tati it ain't, but there is a sense of an authentic Hergé spirit in this undertaking.

The 40 year old print has been in heavy use, but there is enough of the original colour left to give a genuinely pleasant impression.

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