Fr : version française / En: english version

mheu, Historical Museum of the Urban Environment

Bébert and Slow Train

Yves Robert

1h 40mins
© Gaumont

View this work in the Fire exhibition

The work

Made in 1963 following the success of "War of the Buttons" (10 million tickets!), "Bébert and the Train" was also built on the lively nature of "little Gibus"—alias Martin Lartigue, now a fine arts painter—in the title role. It features a constellation of actors, including Pierre Mondy, Jean Richard, Jean Lefebvre, Michel Serrault, Yves Robert, Christian Marin, Pierre Tornade and a young Jacques Higelin. The film is based on a novel by screenwriter François Boyer and recounts the peregrinations of Bébert, left behind in a suburban train by his older brother Tiennot (J. Higelin). What follows is a frenzied night during which good-natured French rail employees keep an eye on Bébert while his brother and father (Jean Richard) search for him separately. Though not a masterpiece, the film is nonetheless funny and touching, thanks mainly to the acting of little Gibus and of Jacques Higelin, who nails the character of a beatnik adolescent pickup artist.

The artist

Born in 1920 in Saumur, actor, screenwriter, director and producer Yves Robert started his working life as a typographer. His career as an actor began in 1948 and he quickly moved into directing. His first major success was an adaptation of Louis Pergaud's novel "War of the Buttons," which he wrote, directed and produced and that sold nearly 10 million tickets. A tireless worker, Robert appeared in almost 60 films, directed more than 20 and acted and directed in the theater. Specializing in comedy, he had a number of major box office hits, such as "Very Happy Alexander" and "The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe", followed by "An Elephant Can Be Extremely Deceptive", "My Father's Glory" to name just a few. He also produced several Pierre Richard films. Yet Robert was perfectly capable of changing registers, as he did for the Claude Sautet movie "A Bad Son". He died in Paris in 2002 and the inscription on his tombstone at the Montparnasse cemetery reads: "Yves Robert, un homme de joie" (Yves Robert, a Man of Joy).