In this hilarious comedy of hair-brained disguises and mistaken identities, Victor Pivert (Louis de Funès), a blustering, bigoted French factory owner, finds himself taken hostage by Slimane, an Arab revolutionary. The two dress up as Hasidic Jews in order to evade the police and a band of assassins who are out to kill Slimane. Pivert ends up posing as Rabbi Jacob, a local celebrity returning to France for the first time in thirty years. Adding to the confusion are Pivert's jealous wife, who thinks he is having an affair, their daughter, who is about to get married, and a Parisian neighborhood eager to celebrate the homecoming of their beloved rabbi.
This film is presented as originally created. It is a product of its time and contains cultural or racial depictions that viewers may find offensive.
"A slapstick masterpiece. One of the all-time funniest flicks." - Phil Hall, Film Threat
"A slapstick farce co-written by Oury's daughter Danièle Thompson, it manages to quite literally candy-coat its bigoted hero, in one of the funniest scenes in one of the funniest movies to turn up this year." - Michael Walsh, Province
"Supporting the star who works tirelessly — and mostly with success — for laughs, are a number of fine sight gags and some very good supporting actors, including Suzy Delair, who plays Mr. De Funes's wife, a bossy woman with a passion for dentistry." - Vincent Canby, The New York Times
"When you need a good laugh, watch The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob. This French comedy is absolutely ridiculous, so you can't help but be entertained. " - Valerie Mitchell, Mama Likes This
Directed by Gérard Oury
Writers: Gérard Oury (screenplay), Danièle Thompson
Starring: Louis de Funès, Miou-Miou, Suzy Delair
France / Italy, 1973
French, English, Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic (with English subtitles)