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La bonne année

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

La bonne année
La bonne année.jpg
Directed byClaude Lelouch
Screenplay byClaude Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven
Music byFrancis Lai
CinematographyJean Collomb
Edited byGeorges Klotz
Distributed byFilms 13
Release date
  • 13 April 1973 (1973-04-13) (France)
Running time
115 minutes

La bonne année (also known in the United States as Happy New Year) is a 1973 film directed by Claude Lelouch. It tells the story of a gangster who organises a successful heist but is himself caught and jailed. Released early, he not only recoups his share of the takings but also regains his girlfriend.


The gangster Simon and his faithful accomplice Charlot take a holiday in Cannes. Their plan is to rob the Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery shop on the seafront. Exhaustively, they watch and log the movements of the staff and the security routines. Disguised as a rich old man, Simon gets to know the manager by choosing items for an alleged sick sister. He also gets distracted by Françoise, the beautiful owner of the antiques shop next door. She is on her own and willing to enjoy dates.

On the night of the heist, Charlot manages to hide in the shop at closing time and at gunpoint gets the manager to fill an attaché case with all the jewels and cash. He then lets Simon in and heads off with the loot in a speedboat. As Simon ties and gags the manager, the place is surrounded by police because an alarm had been triggered. Françoise visits Simon in jail and promises she will wait for him.

After six years, as the police have not found Charlot or any of the loot, they think of a plan. They will get Simon released early and shadow him. He eludes his pursuers and finds Charlot, who gives him his share and drives him to the airport for a plane to Brazil. Waiting for his flight to be called, he rings Françoise. She tells him to come to her apartment immediately, which he does.


Financing and production

Much of the film was financed by advertising, particularly for Van Cleef & Arpels.


  • Best actor at the San Remo Film Festival for Lino Ventura and Françoise Fabian
  • Prix Triomphe du Cinéma 1973

American remake

The film was remade as Happy New Year (1987), directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Peter Falk, Charles Durning and Tom Courtenay.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 September 2020, at 01:40
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