The Big Vacation (Les grandes vacances) (1967)

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Released 15-Feb-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1967
Running Time 84:55
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jean Girault
Madman Entertainment
Starring Louis de Funès
Ferdy Mayne
Martine Kelly
François Leccia
Olivier De Funès
Claude Gensac
Maurice Risch
Jacques Dynam
Dominique Davray
Mario David
Jean St. Clair
Christiane Muller
Denise Provence
Case ?
RPI Box Music Raymond Lefevre

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Les Grandes vacances is one of Louis de Funès most popular films. The 1967 film directed by Jean Girault who had directed many films starring Funès including the successful 'Gendarme' films, was made at the height of Funès’ popularity. In 1966 he had broken box office records with La Grande Vadrouille which co-starred Bourvil and was one of France’s highest grossing films of all time (behind Titanic (1997)) until Dany Boon’s Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis in 2008.

In Les Grandes vacances Funès plays irate Monsieur Charles Bosquier, a director of a private school, whose eldest son Philippe (François Leccia), has just failed his end of year exams. Displeased with his teenage son’s performance, Charles decides to send Philippe to England for one month so he can improve his English and re-sit the exam.

Philippe is to stay with MacFarrell (Ferdy Mayne), who is a wealthy whiskey distiller in England, while MacFarrell’s teenage daughter Shirley (Martine Kelly) in exchange will stay with the Bosquier family.

However, as expected, Bosquier’s plans fall apart as Philippe intends to go sailing with his friends and tries to send fellow student Stephane (Maurice Risch) in his place. Meanwhile Shirley begins to distract Bosquier’s younger son Gerald (played by Funès' real life son Olivier De Funès) and the two decide to meet with Philippe.

Eventually the truth of the teenagers’ whereabouts is revealed sending Bosquier and MacFarrell to Scotland to search for Philippe and Shirley, who have since fallen for one another, and Gerald.

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Transfer Quality


Presented in 2:35:1 16x9 enhanced widescreen, the transfer is satisfactory considering the age of the film. The overall colour scheme remains natural and the picture is sharp and defined.

Shadow detail is equally adequate; mild film grain appears throughout the feature film. Telecine Wobble is visible on a few occasions but is not distracting.

There are no subtitles available on this DVD title.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


The single audio track is a 2.0 English mono soundtrack. It remains crisp and clear throughout the feature.

This DVD is released for an English speaking market, so I understand Madman’s decision for offering the (French accented) English dubbed soundtrack, although including the original French soundtrack would have be a welcomed addition to this disc.

The film includes an infectious playful score by Raymond Lefevre.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu

The Main Menu is composed of a still of a promotional image of the film. There are 12 scene selections.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

In R4 please note this DVD is only available as part of the French Comedy Greats: Louis de Funès box-set.

This title is available in France as a ‘Studio Canal’ release. The transfer of the film is identical.

The R2 DVD includes the original French language mono soundtrack. Please note there are no English subtitles available on this DVD.

There is a 13 minute ‘Making-Of’ composed of recent interviews of cast and crew. Also included is the trailer, bibliographies and a quiz.


Classic French Comedy, presented with an excellent transfer and a dubbed English soundtrack.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Monday, March 15, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDOPPO DV-980H, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

Other Reviews NONE
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