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Film / The Three Brothers

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Cent patates... Je vais avoir cent patates !!! (Two bricks... I'll get two bricks!!!)note 

The Three Brothers (Les Trois Frères) is a 1995 French comedy film directed by Didier Bourdon and Bernard Campan and starring Didier Bourdon, Bernard Campan and Pascal Légitimus.

Didier, Bernard and Pascal were born to an unknown father and their mother abandoned them. Each of them has followed different paths: Didier is a security guard in a supermarket, Bernard is homeless and Bernard is a manager in a communication company. The three half-brothers meet each other for the first time when their mother dies and the notary informs them that they will inherit her fortune.


The Three Brothers provides examples of:

  • The '90s: With the Super Nintendo, the Game Boy, Pascal's laptop... you know for sure in which decade you are.
  • Asshole Victim: The notary and the debt collector who Didier and Bernard assault.
  • Chewbacca Defense: During the final trial, Didier, Bernard and Pascal make points that have nothing to do with the case. For example, Bernard repeats his sales spiel about the stain remover, and Pascal makes a speech about discrimination against black people.
  • Clear My Name: Didier, Bernard and Pascal are wrongly accused of kidnapping Michaël. At the same time, they are justly accused of several minor offences.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: When the three brothers pretend that they want to buy a TV, the sales assistant turns on the TV and there is a news bulletin about Michaël's kidnapping. The three brothers have to run away.
  • Advertisement:
  • Comic Trio: Didier is the navigator (he brings Michaël to Pascal's flat, he starts assaulting the notary and the debt collector...), Bernard is the driver (he follows Didier's decisions without questioning them) and Pascal is the complainer (he criticizes the actions of the other two, but he is unable to stop them).
  • Con Man: The three brothers engage is several short cons to get food, drinks and cigarettes for free (like pretending to have won the lottery or pretending that Michaël is choking on a pit in a restaurant).
  • Courtroom Antic: Played for Laughs during the final trial.
  • Disappeared Dad: Michaël grew up without knowing his father. The three brothers do not know their father either.
  • Disguised in Drag:
    • Michaël has to disguise himself as a girl because the three brothers are afraid someone could recognize him and call the police.
    • During the TV show, Bernard disguises himself as a woman to inpersonate Pascal's wife.
  • Distinguishing Mark: The three brothers and Michaël have a distinctive birthmark on the buttock.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Bernard tries to sell a stain remover on a market. Pascal gets to the office and says hello to his colleagues and boss. Didier is observing a woman inside a fitting room thanks to a security camera when his future father-in-law turns up.
  • Evil Debt Collector: The one who comes at Pascal's flat to seize his goods is very unpleasant.
  • A Fool for a Client: Didier, Bernard and Pascal defend themselves during the final trial.
  • Good Samaritan: Marie helps the three brothers when Michaël is sick, even though she knows the police looks for them.
  • Gratuitous English: Pascal and his colleagues use a lot of English words.
    T'as l'air en super good forme ! (You seem to be in very good shape!)
    Thanks !
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The three brothers are jerkasses (Bernard is a scrounger, Didier is a voyeur and Pascal is a snob), but they all really care about Michaël.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Both Didier and his son Michaël grew up without knowing their father.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Didier discovers that Michaël is actually his son. This is confirmed by Michaël's birthmark.
  • Never Win the Lottery:
    • In the bar, Bernard pretends he has a winning ticket to get away without paying anything. The ticket is actually a loser.
    • Subverted in the end: Michaël finds a real winning ticket. Double subverted because the winning ticket only gives the opportunity to participate in a TV show. During this show, Didier only wins the lowest amount: 100,000 French francs ($17,000).
  • On One Condition: Didier, Bernard and Pascal can get the inheritance only if they claim it within two years after their mother's death.
  • Parental Abandonment: The three brothers' background. Their fathers are unknown and their mother abandoned them.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Didier, Bernard and Pascal meet because their mother has died. Their meeting and the soon lost inheritance trigger the events of the plot.
  • Riches to Rags: Pascal was wealthy and he loses everything in the course of the film, to the point of living like a tramp. Didier was less well-off, but he also loses everything he had.
  • Separated at Birth: Didier, Bernard and Pascal are three half-brothers who were abandoned by their mother at birth and raised in orphanages. They only meet each other when their mother dies.
  • Shoutout: At Marie's home, the three brothers read The Little Prince to Michaël.
  • Sibling Team: The three brothers (actually half-brothers) decide to go together to Nice to bring Michaël to his mother, they take care of him and they commit together several offences to get food, drinks, cigarettes and video consoles.
  • Sink-or-Swim Fatherhood: The three brothers have to take care of Michaël without any prior experience of fatherhood.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: Pascal is a wealthy manager. He lives in a big flat, he is interested in contemporary art, he likes eating sushi... His half-brother Bernard is homeless and he start living in his flat. Later, his second half-brother Didier, a security guard, becomes homeless too and he also settles down in his flat. Living together will turn out to be difficult.
  • Surprise Witness: During the final trial, Michaël, Didier's son, shows up to prove that Didier is his father.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: Didier, Bernard and Pascal did not know their mother and they did not know that she owned a vast fortune.
  • World of Jerkass: The main characters are a freeloading would-be actor, a voyeur hypocrite security guard and an upstart snobbish yuppie. Other characters include a self-centered kid who demands the latest video consoles, a mother who leaves her 7-year kid alone for several days, a racist middle-aged man, an unpleasant debt collector, a contemptuous notary, a corrupt and manipulative company executive...


Example of: