A cult comedy from the 80s, “Les Sous-Doués” was a literally life-saving project for its director Claude Zidi. Indeed, the director then had a great personal interest in this film is a success.
The Under-Gifted: great success of the year 1980
Already director of many successes in the 70s (The Bidasses in madness, The Bidasses go to war, The wing or the thigh, La Zizanie), Claude Zidi began the following decade with a bang. Indeed, at the end of April 1980, the filmmaker presents his new realization The Under-Giftedproduced by the famous producer Claude Berri and carried by Michel Galabru as well as a future great actor: Daniel Auteuil.
The Under-Gifted, therefore, follows the high school students of the Cours Louis XIV, reputed to be notorious dunces. Worst high school in the baccalaureate ranking with 100% failing the exam, its director, therefore, foments a scheme so that his students can obtain the diploma at all costs.
The feature film is a great commercial success with 3.9 million admissions. With time and TV reruns on TF1, The Under-Gifted will reach the dimension of a cult film.
A failure to be better reborn
A before The Under-GiftedClaude Zidi realizes Dumb but disciplined comedy in which we can notably find Jacques Villeret and already Daniel Auteuil. The film was literally slammed by critics and smashed at the box office. A very rare thing for Zidi who, until this comedy, had a string of successes.
This failure, unfortunately, has consequences, as the latter recounts in his autobiography published in 2019 and entitled Claude Zidi, discreetly. Indeed, the flop of his film puts him so heavily in debt that he finds himself cornered by taxes. As a result, to repay his debts the director, therefore, decides to direct a low-budget film named… The Under-Gifted.
Great good took him since the comedy is a success, resulting in a sequel named The Under-Gifted on Vacation. Furthermore, the film will totally revive his career with other cult comedies such as inspector la Bavure, Banzaï, Les Ripoux, or even Asterix and Obelix versus Caesar.