Not be confused with the French television series Jo
is a French Black Comedy
released in 1971. It is also known in English-language territories either as Joe: The Busy Body
or The Gazebo
. It is the second adaptation of the play The Gazebo
by Alec Coppel and Myra Coppel. It was directed by Jean Girault and stars Louis de Funès
, Claude Gensac, Bernard Blier and Ferdy Mayne.
Antoine Brisebard (De Funès), a famous comedy playwright, is struggling with financial difficulties and is preparing to sell his country villa to an English couple, the Grunders. What no one knows, however, is that Brisebard is actually a victim of blackmail
since his wife Sylvie (Claude Gensac), a famous actress, is the daughter of a notorious robber-murderer. The malevolent is a criminal extortionist only known as Jo, who visits him often to pick up his hush money.
But faced with certain ruin, Brisebard is preparing to do away with Jo once and for all, planning his deed under the guise of him trying to write the script for a crime play and consulting his friend, attorney Colas, for ideas of how to efficiently get rid of the body. He finally takes up the offer of one Tonelotti (Michel Galabru) to erect a garden pavillon, whose foundation would provide the ideal hiding place for the corpse.Things will not really work as planned
Jo provides examples of the following tropes:
- Antagonist Title
- Black Comedy
- Blatant Lies: Brisebard has to rely on them for most of the film.
- Dead Guy on Display
- Disposing of a Body
- Eureka Moment: When Brisebard is left with no way to hide the body after the storm destroyed the garden pavillon, lightning suddenly strikes a nearby statue.
- The maid, the first time she walks on Brisebard and his attorney friend "rehearsing" a murder... huh... a scene from a play.
- When Sylvie finds out what her husband's concrete "statue" really is...
- From Bad to Worse
- The Ghost: The eponymous Jo. He isn't even the body...
- Hidden in Plain Sight
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: How the protagonist keeps the audience's sympathy despite planning a murder: when confronted with his blackmailer, he just can't go through it and drop his gun... which discharges accidentally an Instant Death Bullet.
- It's for a Play: Brisebard's whole pretext for looking into how to make the perfect crime.
- Lady Drunk: Mrs Grunder
- Murphy's Law
- Nervous Wreck: Antoine Brisebard. He's played by Louis de Funès, after all.
- The Perfect Crime: Antoine Brisebard's plan.
- Production Posse: Jean Girault, Louis de Funès, Claude Gensac and Michel Galabru were longtime collaborators in the Gendarme series.
- Running Gags
- The maid walking into a compromising scene, and bursting into laughter as she thinks they're rehearsing a play (after fainting the first time, when it was actually a rehearsal).
- The body's arm stiffening and moving at the worse moment, making it harder and harder to hide it. At the very end, it does so right into Inspector Ducros' face.
- A Simple Plan: Which quickly turns into a nightmare.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Inspector Ducros (Bernard Blier)