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Le Magnifique (also known as The Man from Acapulco) is a 1973 French comedy film starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jacqueline Bisset.

François Merlin writes espionage novels. The adventures of his hero, Bob Saint-Clar, are directly inspired by the events of his life. He has a crush on one of his neighbours, Christine, an English student, so Bob Saint-Clar will have a love story with Tatiana, a character who has Christine's appearance. Will François Merlin be as successful to charm Christine?


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Le Magnifique provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: The adventures of Saint-Clar are a parody of Tuxedo and Martini spy fiction.
  • Agents Dating: Bob Saint-Clar and Tatiana are both agents and they have a non-professional romantic relationship.
  • An Axe to Grind: In the airport, Karpov's men kill an informant with an axe.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Tatiana is raped by Karpov, then she is relieved to see American soldiers coming to save her. Unfortunately, when they see such a sexy woman, the soldiers gang rape her.
  • Bloody Hilarious: When Saint-Clar kills several mooks in Karpov's base, there is a very large quantity of blood flowing for comedic purpose.
  • But You Were There, and You, and You: François Merlin devises the adventures of Bob Saint-Clar, where he has the title role, Christine is Agent Tatiana, his editor Charron is Colonel Karpov, and an electrician, two plumbers and a policeman are some of Karpov's mooks.
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  • Casual Danger Dialog: In Bagdad, Bob Saint-Clar is fighting several mooks, while having a calm conversation on the phone with his boss.
  • The Cavalry: The American soldiers who come to save Tatiana. Subverted: they also rape Tatiana.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • An agent is trapped into a phone booth, then thrown into the ocean, then eaten by a shark.
    • When Karpov catches Bob Saint-Clar, he plans to get him killed by the bites of rabid rats in his buttocks (or rats having cyanide on their teeth in another version devised by Merlin).
  • Cultured Badass: Parodied. At some point, Bob Saint-Clar, who is one of the best spies, starts playing the piano in a very unrealistic way.
  • Cyanide Pill: Bob Saint-Clar has one hidden in one of his teeth. He looses it accidentally in the swimming pool of his hotel and several guests are killed.
  • Death Trap: Karpov has prepared one for Bob Saint-Clar: an acid will burn a rope, which will free rabid rats, which will bite Saint-Clar's buttocks (in another version devised by Merlin, the rats have cyanide on their teeth).
  • Dirty Communists: Colonel Karpov, Bob Saint-Clar's nemesis, is an Albanian agent.
  • Duel to the Death: Subverted. In their final confrontation, Bob Saint-Clar and Karpov are going to embark on a duel, but finally they declare their mutual love.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The pyramids of Teotihuacan are showed.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Christine is an English student in sociology in Paris.
  • Framing Device: The adventures of Saint-Clar are told when their creator, François Merlin, writes them.
  • He Knows Too Much: The informant who wants to talk to Saint-Clar in the airport is killed by Karpov's men.
  • High-Pressure Blood: When Saint-Clar kills several mooks in Karpov's base, their blood goes out in explosive jets.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Bob Saint-Clar can shoot a sniper hidden in a tree from a moving car while driving. He is also able to shoot several mooks hidden in another tree in one shot.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: François Merlin writes novels.
  • Nested Story Reveal: The film starts with a large chunk of the adventures of Bob Saint-Clar, then it is revealed that this is just the creation of François Merlin.
  • Picture-Perfect Presentation: Merlin is typewriting. The camera lingers on a photograph of Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Sun, and this is a transition to a scene of the adventures of Saint-Clar.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: An agent is killed by a shark, so his boss requests the assistance of Bob Saint-Clar.
  • Pool Scene: There is one at Bob Saint-Clar's hotel in Acapulco. Bob meets Tatiana at the pool.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Colonel Karpov has one.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The agent who is killed by a shark in the beginning.
  • Shark Pool: Not a shark pool, but a variation: an agent is trapped in a phone booth, which is thrown into the ocean. At the bottom of the ocean, a shark is waiting in a cage, not far from the phone booth. Then mooks in diving suits let the shark enter the phone booth and kill the agent.
  • Shirtless Scene: Bob Saint-Clar is often seen shirtless. During the Pool Scene, for example.
  • Starving Artist: Merlin is a writer and he does not have much money. He asks for an advance to his editor, who turns it down.
  • Stylistic Suck: The adventures of Saint-Clar are very cheesy.
  • Supervillain Lair: The underground base of Karpov.
  • Tempting Fate: The agent in the phone booth says he can feel when danger is coming, just before the booth is taken off by an helicopter.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: Bob Saint-Clar's adventures are a parody of this style of espionage stories.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Inverted. Merlin's son visits him.

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