) is a classic French Fish out of Temporal Water
comedy film released in 1993, starring Jean Reno
, Christian Clavier and Valérie Lemercier.
In the year 1123
, Godefroy (a proud French knight) saves the life of his king and is rewarded with the title of Count of Montmirail and is given leave to marry his betrothed. On his way home, he finds and captures a witch, taking her prisoner to be judged and burnt alive. She slips a poison into his drink, causing him to hallucinate, and when he returns to see his betrothed running towards him pursued by her father, he thinks she's being chased by a bear, shooting him dead
with his crossbow. The wedding obviously called off (and his servant Jacquouille stealing and hiding jewels from the corpse), Godefroy consults his father's magician to travel back in time to prevent the accidental killing. Unfortunately, the mage screws up, sending Godefroy and Jacquouille several hundred years into the future.
Once the two wake up, their medieval outlook on life quickly get into trouble and are caught by the police, released into the custody of Beatrice, the Countess of Montmirail and Godefroy's descendant, who mistakes Godefroy for a long-lost cousin who looks exactly like him. The two return to the castle, which has been modified in the 18th century and turned into a luxury hotel by Jacquard, Jacquouille's own descendant. Godefroy searches the castle for clues the mage might have left in the dungeons, while Jacquouille goes to the chapel to retrieve the stolen jewelry. Godefroy obtains the recipe for returning to his own time, but Jacquouille refuses, having found himself a girlfriend. Godefroy brings him back by force, but Jacquouille tricks Jacquard into drinking the potion.
The movie ends with Godefroy successfully fighting off the witch's potion and shooting her
with his crossbow, saving his marriage to be, Jacquouille living a happy life with his girlfriend in the 1990's, and the unfortunate Jacquard stranded in the past.
There is a sequel (The Visitors II: The Corridors of Time
) in which Jacquard and Jacquouille are returned to their rightful times just to find out that Jacquouille created a temporal paradox
by stealing Beatrice's father's jewels, and an American remake, Just Visiting
(Les Visiteurs en Amérique
As of May 2013, Christian Clavier is working on a screenplay for a third movie, which will ignore the remake.
Les Visiteurs provides examples of the following tropes: