Lhermitte, Thierry 1952-
LHERMITTE, Thierry 1952-
PERSONAL: Born November 24, 1952 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Le Splendid, 48 rue du Fbg. St. Martin, 75010 Paris, France.
CAREER: Actor, producer, director, and writer.
Film appearances include L'an 01, 1972; Si vous n'aimez pas ca, n'en degoutez pas les autres, SND, 1973; Les valseuses, Cinema 5 Distributing, 1974; Que la fete commence, Specialty Films, 1974; F'comme Fairbanks, 1976; Des enfants gates, Corinth Films, 1977; Vous n'aurez pas l'Alsace et la Lorraine, 1977; Le dernier amant romantique, 1978; Sun Tan, 1978; "Voleur de pneus," Les heros n'ont pas froid aux oreilles, 1978; Les bronzes, 1978; Alors, heureux?, 1979; Les bronzes font du ski, 1979; Clara et les chics types, 1980; Les hommes preferent les grosses, 1981; "Le prince voyageur," Elle voit des nains partout!, GEF, 1981; L'annee prochaine . . . si tout va bien, New World Pictures, 1981; Le Pere Noel est une ordure, 1982; Legitime violence, 1982; Le prefere, 1983; Stella, Hachette-Fox Productions, 1983; La femme de mon pote, European International, 1983; Lafiancee qui venait du froid, 1983; Un homme a ma taille, 1983; Papy fait de la resistance, AMLF, 1983; L'Indic, 1983; La smala, 1984; Les ripoux, Orion, 1984; Un ete d'enfer, 1984; Until September, 1984; Sac de noeuds, 1985; Les rois du gag, 1985; Le mariage du siecle, 1985; Nuit d'ivresse, 1986; Les freres petard, 1986; Dernier ete a Tanger, 1987; Fucking Fernand, 1987; Ripoux contre ripoux, Interama Video, 1990; La fete des peres, 1990; Les mille et une nuits, Video Search of Miami, 1990; Promotion Canape, 1990; Les secrets professionels du Dr. Apfelglueck, 1991; La Totale!, Manuel Salvador, 1991; Un piede in paradiso, Lauren Film, 1991; Le zebre, Transeuro pa Video Entertainment, 1992; Tango, Cine Company, 1993; Fanfan, 1993; L'ombre du doute, Vertigo Films, 1993; L'honneur de la tribu, Neuf de Coeur, 1993; La vengeance d'une blonde, 1994; Elles n'oublient jamais, Video Search of Miami, 1994; Grosse fatigue, Miramax, 1994; Un indien dans la ville, Buena Vista, 1994; Tous les jours dimanche, AMLF, 1995; Augustin, 1995; Ma femme me quitte, 1996; Fallait pas! ..., Lauren Film, 1996; Les soeurs soleil, NTV-PROFIT, 1997; Comme des rois, AB Films Distribution, 1997; Quatre garcons pleins d'avenir, 1997; Marquise, Video Search of Miami, 1997; An American Werewolf in Paris, Buena Vista, 1997; Le diner de cons, Lions Gate Films, 1998; Le plus beau pays du monde, Warner Bros., 1998; Trafic d'influence, Poly-Gram Film Distribution, 1999; C'est pas ma faute, Pathé, 1999; Le prof, Rezo Films, 2000; Meilleur espoir feminin, UGC-Fox Distribution, 2000; Deuxieme vie, UGC-Fox Distribution, 2000; Le prince du Pacifique, TF1 International, 2000; Bon plan (also known as Great Idea), United International Pictures, 2000; Enfoires en 2000, 2000; Le placard (also known as The Closet), 2001; Le Roman de Lulu, 2001; La bande du drugstore (also known as Dandy), 2002; Une affaire privée (also known as A Private Affair), Bac Films, 2002; And Now. . . Ladies and Gentlemen, Paramount Classics, 2002; Effroyables jardin, ICE3/UGC Images, 2003; Mauvais esprit, Pathé, 2003; and Le Divorce, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2003.
Film work (as producer, unless otherwise noted) includes Les secrets professionels du Dr. Apfelglueck, 1991; Un indien dans la ville, Buena Vista, 1994; (associate producer) Jungle2Jungle, Buena Vista, 1997; Charite biz'ness, AMLF, 1999; Les collegues, AMLF, 1999; C'est pas ma faute, Pathé, 1999; and Le prince du Pacifique, TF1 International, 2000.
Episodic television appearances include "Le chat et la souris," Sueurs froides, 1988. Other television appearances include L'ex-femme de ma vie, 1989; Les danseurs du Mozambique, 1991; and Deux justiciers dans la ville, 1993.
(Adaptor, with others) Un indien dans la ville (screenplay adaptation; also known as Little Indian, Big City; An Indian in the City; An Indian in Paris), Buena Vista, 1994.
(With others) Le prince du Pacifique (also known as The Prince of the Pacific), TF1 International, 2000.
Other screenplays include (idea only) C'est pas parce qu'on a rien à dire qu'il faut fermer sa gueuele, 1975; Sun Tan (adaptation), 1978; Les Bronzes (also known as French Fried Vacation), 1978; Les bronzes dont du ski, 1979; Le Pere Noël est une ordure, 1982; Nuit d'ivresse, 1986; and Les secrets professionels du Dr. Apfelglück, 1991.
ADAPTATIONS: The Disney film Jungle2Jungle, Buena Vista, 1997, was based on Lhermitte's Un indien dans la ville.
SIDELIGHTS: Born in suburban Paris, Thierry Lhermitte founded a comedy troupe called La Splendid, one of the sketches of which became the basis for a movie. From there, Lhermitte's career flourished, and he has starred in dozens of films. Among these are several that have been remade in the United States: thus, as Frank Magiera observed in the Worcester, Massachusetts, Telegram and Gazette, "Before we had Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies, the French had Thierry Lhermitte in La totale! And before we had Steve Martin in Mixed Nuts, they had Thierry Lhermitte in Le Pere Noël est une ordure," the screenplay of which Lhermitte also wrote.
When Lhermitte sold Disney the rights to remake the 1994 film Un indien dans la ville, which he cowrote—and which appeared in 1997 as Jungle2Jungle, starring Tim Allen—he included the stipulation that the French film receive a full U.S. release. Thus, in March 1996, Un indien, appearing under the English title Little Indian, Big City, opened at some 600 theatres nationwide.
The storyline is a classic tale of a "noble savage" taken to the city, only it is played as comedy and not as farce. In Little Indian, a Paris stockbroker (played by Lhermitte himself) travels to South America to find his estranged wife, and discovers that he has a son. The boy, raised in the Amazonian rain forest, is at home climbing trees and playing with wild animals, so it is as much a shock to him as to the father when circumstances require that the two return to Paris together.
Reviews of Little Indian were largely unfavorable, due in part to material that seemed to belie promotion of the movie as a "family picture." Bill Lohmann in the Richmond Times-Dispatch questioned whether anyone would agree with promotional material describing Little Indian as a "'warm-hearted family comedy' .... Unless you like the sight of a pigeon nailed to the side of an apartment building by an arrow. Or maybe a kid in a loin cloth taking a bite out of a snake's head." Such material, along with overt suggestions of budding sexuality on the part of the thirteen-year-old-boy, worked better with audiences in France and Europe—where the film was an enormous hit—than in America. Also problematic was the fact that the film had been dubbed into English rather than subtitled—another consequence of its promotion as a "family film," the reasoning being that children would not put up with a movie that had subtitles.
Much more successful critically was Le prince du Pacifique, released in English as The Prince of the Pacific. Another film starring and cowritten by Lhermitte, this one also plays on the differences between life in the pristine wilderness and the ways of the powerful European civilizations that invade them, but critics found it did so with much greater finesse. Set mostly during World War I, The Prince of the Pacific is the story of Captain Morsac, who is wounded on the battlefield in Morocco, and, after recovering, is sent to Tahiti to recruit Polynesians for the service of France. However, he finds the island ruled by a brutal French military governor, against whose authoritarian rule he ultimately organizes a resistance force.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Gale (Detroit, MI), volume 35, 2001.
Boston Globe, March 22, 1996, Jay Carr, review of Little Indian, Big City, p. 50.
Dallas Morning News, March 23, 1996, Jane Sumner, review of Little Indian, Big City, p. C5.
New York Times, March 22, 1996, Janet Maslin, review of Little Indian, Big City, p. B6.
Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 23, 1996, Bill Lohmann, review of Little Indian, Big City, p. B7.
Telegram and Gazette (Worcester, MA), Frank Magiera, review of Little Indian, Big City, p. 3.
Variety, January 1, 2001, Lisa Nesselson, review of The Prince of the Pacific, p. 36.*