Angevine is the happiest village on earth. The mayor, Panneton, protects its innocent inhabitants by removing any mention of tragic events from the papers, and ensuring that the postman destroys any letters containing bad news.
Panneton’s gorgeous daughter, Marie, is the village beauty ; but she only has eyes for Gabriel, the shy schoolmaster, a gruff old bachelor who doesn’t dare tell Marie that her feelings are reciprocated. Eager to widen her horizons, Marie enters a beauty contest organized by a little town on the la Manche coast (Normandy). She wins the title of ‘Miss Blue Waves’.
Meanwhile, the young American millionaire Broderick McPower, cruising on his yacht along the French coasts, discovers that his fourth wife has just left him. He immediately sets about looking for wife number five, who he wants to be ‘Queen of something’. And so he arrives, amid much fanfare, in Angevine. He wins over the village’s population with an abundance of gifts and spectacular effects.
Although she hesitates because of Gabriel, Marie is eventually seduced and captivated by the hot-headed McPower, and accepts his marriage proposal. But in New York, despite all the flurry of the engagement and wedding preparations, Marie feels homesick. Not to worry! Broderick has Angevine shipped over stone by stone and sets it up on the banks of the Hudson. The village becomes a ‘French reserve’, and is a huge hit with American tourists.
The villagers, however, find it hard to get used to their new life in New York, and Marie pines after Gabriel, the only one who didn’t make the journey across the ocean. So it is a stroke of luck when, commissioned by Panneton to bring over a spare part for his coffee grinder, Gabriel arrives on the very morning the wedding is due to take place.
Broderick lets Marie go, and returns Angevine and its inhabitants to France. He launches a huge construction operation, building copies of the village in the U.S., and gives his secretary the task of finding him a new fifth wife…
Production: Les Artistes Associés (Paris) / Produzione Europee Associate (Rome)
Line producer: Christian Ferry.
Screenplay: Daniel Boulanger and Philippe de Broca.
Script: Daniel Boulanger.
Dialogues américains : Richard Overstreet.
Director of photography: Jean Penzer.
Opérateurs : Jean-Paul Schwartz and Michel Lebon.
Artistic contributions and editing: Henri Lanoë.
Assistante-monteuse : Monique André.
Music: George Delerue.
Song: « Les caprices de Marie » by Henri Lanoë (lyrics) and Georges Delerue (music) performed by Cora Vaucaire.
Ingénieurs du son : Urbain Loiseau and Jean Labussière.
Mixing: Jean Nény.
Sets: Théo Meurisse.
Set decorators: Roger Volper and Nady Chauviret.
Props: André Davalan.
Costumes : Barbara Zulawska.
Make-up: Jackie Reynal.
Hairdresser: Évelyne Iafrate.
Stage manager: Paul Lemaire.
Assistant directors: Christian Fuin and Bernard Maistre.
Script : Madeleine Billeaud and Suzanne Durrenberger.
Dialogue coach : Louise Vincent.
Attachées de presse : Christine Brierre and Odette Ferry.
Choreography: Miss Blue Bell.
Effets spéciaux et animation : Bettiol & Lonati
Philippe Noiret – Gabriel
Bert Convy – Broderick McPower le milliardaire américain.
Valentina Cortese doublée par Nadine Alarie – Madeleine de Lépine.
Fernand Gravey – le capitaine Ragot.
Marthe Keller – Marie Églantine Panneton.
Jean-Pierre Marielle – Léopold Panneton, son père, maire, et cafetier.
Didi Perego – Aurore Panneton, la mère de Marie.
François Périer – Jean-Jules de Lépine.
Henri Crémieux – le facteur.
Colin Drake – le président du conseil d’administration.
Marc Dudicourt – le présentateur de Miss Flots Bleus.
Dorothy Marchini – Dorothy Golden la secrétaire de McPower.
Albert Michel – le président du jury Miss Flots Bleus.
Barbara Middleton – la mère de Broderick McPower.
Noëlle Musard – Mademoiselle Choquet.
Bernard Musson – le maître d’hôtel.
Lucien Raimbourg – le fonctionnaire du Wedding Center.
Hilde Spalinger – Raymonde Bonneteau « la Dauphine ».
Aimé Théo – Bob
Olga Valéry – Laureen.
Douglas Read – Dick.
The Blue Bell Girls.
Running time: 91 minutes.
Working title: Les figurants du Nouveau Monde.
Filmed: 21 July – 12 September 1969.
Location: Eure-et-Loir and New York.
Distribution : Les Artistes Associés.
Release in Paris: 26 February 1970.
Box office: 36 822 tickets sold in two weeks in five Paris cinemas.