A mythical beige uniform. Fans of Louis de Funès already know it: this Friday, July 29, Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez, directed by Jean Girault, is broadcast from 9:10 p.m. on M6. When it was released in cinemas on September 9, 1964, the film, produced with a low budget (1.35 million francs, or nearly 200,000 euros), had an unexpected success. At the end of its operation, the adventures of the chief marshal Cruchot recorded 7,809,334 admissions in total. Driven by the charisma and comic talent of its main actor, the film also made certain filming locations iconic, in particular the policeman’s uniform worn by the actors. But did the latter wear the real uniforms of the national gendarmerie of the time? “All the uniforms used in the series were real uniforms worn by the gendarmes”, explains Nicolas Moulin, president of the Association of collectors for the preservation of the heritage of the constabulary of the gendarmerie (ACSPMG).
“Concerning the period relating to the film of the Gendarme of Saint-Tropez, the color of the uniforms of the so-called ‘sand’ gendarmerie was in fact the summer outfit. The winter outfit, on the other hand, included the black jacket, blue trousers with stripes black, sky blue shirt and black tie”, specifies Nicolas Moulin. “For the cinema, there are always small inconsistencies. to indicate the different ranks of each soldier. These replaced the braiding worn on the sleeves of uniforms. But for the purposes of the film, the braiding on the sleeves was added and therefore duplicates the shoulder straps. This addition is the main peculiarity of the uniform of the gendarmes of the 1964 film. don’t wear g let’s go on the sleeves,” he remarks.
“Regarding the official decorations, the metal badges are sometimes on the left or on the right on the uniform of the gendarmes of the film, whereas in reality they are worn only on the right side”, he adds. “We also note a small peculiarity at the end of the film. When Cruchot parades in general’s uniform, it is a nod to General de Gaulle. The kepi only has one star, which does not does not exist, while two stars are visible on the sleeves, indicating the rank of brigadier general… which was wanted by the prop man to give a parodic style to the scene”, concludes the president of the ACSPMG .
Discover the different outfits of the gendarmes of Saint-Tropez over time in our slideshow below, the majority of the photographs of which were provided by the Musée de la gendarmerie et du cinema de Saint-Tropez.