An American boy and a French girl run away from a Swiss school making for Paris to reunite with their parents. The boy's father and the girl's mother join forces, despite cultural differences, to search for their kids.
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While setting up a business in Paris, American widower Michael Andrews (Gene Kelly) has placed his adolescent son, Danny Andrews (Bobby Clark), in a Swiss boarding school as Mike has no time during this phase of the business set-up to look after Danny on his own. Mike receives distressing news that Danny has run away from the school with another student, Parisienne Janine Duval (Brigitte Fossey). This news does not sit well with either Mike or Janine's divorcée mother, Suzanne Duval (Barbara Laage). Suzanne believes Danny is a delinquent influence on her daughter, while Mike believes Janine is an enabler as non-French speaking Danny could not manage outside the school without some language assistance. They learn from another student that Danny is heading to Paris to show Mike that he is independent enough to live in Paris with Mike, while Janine tagged along because she sees herself as Danny's girl and as she has not seen her mother in some time. As the children have not been gone ...Written by
A happy comic scoot along the French countryside involving an American and a Parisienne who get embroiled in a bicycle race, pique-nique (picnic), NATO, Gendarmerie and in each other - all done delightfully and amusingly.
This movie was originally titled "The Happy Journey". See more »
At the very beginning, when the boy is running away, he is shown throwing his knotted rope over the railing, and immediately beginning the climb down. The next shot shows him continuing his climb, but now the rope is tied with a big knot on the railing, though he didn't stop to do that. See more »
This film is a comedy adventure story about an American boy and a French girl who escape their Swiss boarding school and set off for Paris, where their parents live. Gene Kelly plays the boy's father, Mike, and Barbara Laage plays Suzanne, the mother of the girl.
Directed and produced by Gene Kelly, "The Happy Road" is just that--a happy story about life on the road. There is never any real angst over the missing children. The film plays as a farce among the small towns and back roads of France. In some parts there is little dialogue, reminiscent of Mr. Hulot. This is another example of Mr. Kelly creatively branching out from the traditional format of musicals.
Thrust together by circumstance, the two parents, trade barbs about Americans and French, but learn to cooperate as their children thwart the efforts of gendarmes and generals trying to intercept their path.
Children might enjoy this film as much as, or more than, adults.
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