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
- Bilingual Bonus: Mr Grunder mostly speaks English, despite understanding perfectly French.
- Blatant Lies: Brisebard has to rely on them for most of the film.
- Chekhov'sGun: The gazebo from the Puy-de-Dôme.
- Dead Guy on Display: Covered in crude plaster shaped as a "statue".
- 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.
- The attorney friend, after Brisebard shoot down the chandelier with the comedy gun he used in their rehearsal.
- When Sylvie finds out what her husband's concrete "statue" really is...
Sylvie: And when I get back, I'm sure there will be a corpse!
- 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.
- The Powerof Cheese: Tonelotti assures Brisebard that, with his foundation work, the gazebo will still be around in two hundred years. It breaks apart the next day.
- Running Gag:
- 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.
- Specifying that the gazebo is from the Puy-de-Dôme.
- Saying "tutut" while mimicking drinking from a bottle.
- A Simple Plan: Which quickly turns into a nightmare.
- Surroundedby Idiots:
- Tonelotti. When delivering the gazebo with his truck, Tonelotti smashes Brisebard's property door. He then proceeds to carefuly drive over it. Later on, upon discovering the empty grave at the gazebo site, Tonelotti confronts Brisebard about it, calling it a whole and even pointing out it is large enough to fit a man in it and tells Brisebard he resealed it. He also finds Brisebard's shovel and takes it because he mistakenly thinks it's his work tool. He then brings it back at Brisebard's garden party at the exact moment where he discuss with Inspector Ducros. He then proceeds to complain about the whole and actually wants to involve the police about it when Brisebard mentions Ducros being a cop.
- The maid.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Inspector Ducros (Bernard Blier)