SCHOOL FOR POSTMEN, THE (L’ECOLE DES FACTEURS)
(director/writer: Jacques Tati; cinematographer: Louis Felix; editor: Marcel Moreau; music: Jean Yatove; cast: Jacques Tati (Postman), Paul Demange(Chief Postman); Runtime: 15; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Fred Orain; The Criterion Collection; 1947-France-in French with English subtitles-B/W)
“A pleasing physical comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A pleasing physical comedy that’s written, directed and stars Jacques Tati (“PlayTime”/”Jour de Fete”). The short film is one of Tati’s lesser efforts, but still shows off his skills as a first-class comedian in the Charlie Chaplin tradition.
Tati is a French postman in a provincial region, who delivers the mail by bicycle. It opens with the postal chief (Paul Demange) giving three of his men a warm-up training session before they deliver the morning mail. Tati wants to deliver the mail as fast as possible, thereby ignores the rules for postmen on bikes. He takes dangerous short-cuts like hitching onto a truck, crossing the railroad tracks when the barriers are down and chasing after on foot his runaway bike that automatically stops at his next delivery destination.
There’s nothing here to get that excited about, except Tati executes with ease several sight gags.
REVIEWED ON 3/1/2019 GRADE: B-