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OSS 117: The Funniest French Spy

OSS 117: The Funniest French Spy

OSS 117 a Parody of the French

All the world knows the British spy, agent 007. A gentleman with plenty of innovative gadgets and saving the world from evil. The British have 007 good for them but the French gladly have their own agent 007 and it is OSS 117!

How can I describe to you OSS 117.. close your eyes and imagine agent 007, now think about the opposite of him, get it? Good! You got OSS 117! The character is played by the famous French actor Jean Dujardin (Who won the Oscar for the best actor in 2012 in “The Artist”) named Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath in the movies.

The character of OSS 117 was invented before Agent 007, by the writer Jean Bruce and reflected the France of the 50s where it was the end of the colonial empire, men were misogynists, and the colonized peoples were underestimated.

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006)

French title : OSS 117 : Caire nid d’espions

For the moment, there are two good movies of OSS 117 and they recently started to shoot the third one. The first movie was released in 2006, “ Le Caire nid d’espions” (=Cairo nest of spies). The movie takes place in Egypt in 1955 and OSS 117 is sent there to put everything in order. Jean Dujardin is playing a racist and misogynist character.. the perfect gentleman! (Just kidding). He is not professional and quite undiplomatic but always, with a lot of luck accomplishes his mission. This is one of the best scenes for me.

Here is the trailer:

OSS 117, Lost in Rio (2009)

French title: OSS 117, Rio ne répond plus

The second movie was released in 2009, and the movie took place in Brazil more specifically in Rio de Janeiro. As you know it can be tricky to shoot a second movie but this one is as good as the first one.

Jean Dujardin still plays the agent OSS 117 in “Lost in Rio”. 12 years after Cairo, OSS 117 is back for a new mission. He has to take back compromising microfilm for the French state. He will have to cooperate with a good-looking lieutenant-colonel of the Mossad to capture a nazi master singer. This is one of the best scenes for me.

Here is the trailer:

OSS 117 : From Africa with Love (2021)

French title: OSS 117 : Alerte rouge en Afrique noire

Twelve years after the first movie, Jean Dujardin is back in Africa. This time is being challenged by a younger French spy played by Pierre Niney. The tempo of this third movie is slower since Dujardin is taking more time and is less energetic. Even though the acting is different, this movie is still hilarious. The movie was in our selection of the best French movie of 2021.

Here is the trailer:


Those French movies are part of the French culture and French humor many french in the everyday life would make references to OSS 117, including myself.

I would classify those movies as that kind of movie where the viewer would either love it or hate it, there is no middle. I think you probably would like OSS 117 if you are a fan of the Monty Python (Even if it’s completely different). I hope you are going to have a good laugh watching OSS 117.

Did you know about this French movie? Do want me to write about other French movies? Let me know in the comment section 🙂 You should check out the fifth French series of this list, which is related to OSS 117:


Photo Credit @UniFrance