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L'emmerdeur 1973 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Édouard Molinaro
Written by Francis Veber (play and screenplay)
Produced by
Cinematography Raoul Coutard
Edited by
  • Monique Isnardon
  • Robert Isnardon
Music by
Distributed byCCFC
Release date
  • 20 September 1973 (1973-09-20)(France)
Running time
85 minutes
  • France
  • Italy
Box office$25.2 million [1]

L'emmerdeur (literally The Troublemaker, with the English title of A Pain in the Ass, often promoted as A Pain in the A__ [2] [3] ) is a 1973 French-Italian black comedy film, starring Jacques Brel, appearing in his tenth and final feature film. Directed by Édouard Molinaro and co-starring Lino Ventura, Caroline Cellier, and Jean-Pierre Darras, L'emmerdeur is an adaptation of Francis Veber's 1971 play Le contrat.


In the film, a contract killer waits for his intended victim at a hotel room, but his plan is accidentally thwarted by the suicidal salesman occupying the neighboring room. He resorts to prevent the salesman from committing suicide, in fear that the suicide would cause a police search in the hotel.


Ralph Milan is a contract killer who is paid to kill Louis Randoni, whose testimony in various trials could harm the organisation. Ralph waits for his prey in his hotel room, but is interrupted by his comical neighbour, a shirt salesman named François Pignon (Jacques Brel).

Pignon, who is suicidal since his wife left him for a reputed psychiatrist named Fuchs (Jean-Pierre Darras), tries to hang himself on the waterpipes, but only manages to cause a flood. Realizing that if Pignon tries to kill himself again, the police will search the place, Milan offers to talk him out of it until after his assassination. Unfortunately Pignon starts irritating him more, and makes it more difficult for him to fulfill his contract killing. [4]



The film was remade in the United States in 1981 as Buddy Buddy by Billy Wilder, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The film was remade in France in 2008 as L' Emmerdeur starring Patrick Timsit and Richard Berry. Neither remake was well received, and the 2008 version was a conspicuous disaster, attracting derisory audiences. [5] [6]

The film also remade in Turkish as Baş Belası in 1982 directed by Kartal Tibet.

A remake in Hindi titled Bumboo was released in 2012. [7]

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  1. "L\'Emmerdeur (1973) - JPBox-Office".
  2. A Pain in the A__ (1973), Scopophilia: Movies of the 60's, 70's and 80's), December 4, 2016, https://scopophiliamovieblog.com/2016/12/04/a-pain-in-the-a__-1973/
  3. Pain in the A__ VHS, ebay, https://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIN-IN-THE-A-vhs-new-FIRST-RUN-french-comedy-VENTURA-BREL-CELLIER-MOLINARO-/383505013021
  4. "L'emmerdeur". IMDb. 31 July 1975. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  5. Fr "Le Parisien". 10 June 2017.
  6. Fr "Box-office". 10 June 2017.
  7. "'Bumboo' is an intelligent comedy: Jagdish Rajpurohit". The Times of India . 15 March 2012. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013.