Bon Voyage! (1962)

Bon Voyage! Poster

The Willards from Terre Haute, Indiana travels abroad for the once-in-a-lifetime vacation in Paris, France. Harry Willard believes that the greatest problem will be avoiding tap water, but bringing his three children will prove to be more troublesome

Film Overview
"Bon Voyage!" is a popular 1962 American household funny and adventure movie, produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution Company. The film was directed by James Neilson, with a movie script by Marrijane Hayes and Arthur Sheekman. The movie stars veterans Fred MacMurray, Jane Wyman, and an ensemble of young actors including Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, and Debbie Reynolds, narrating the comical, daring journey of the Willard family through Europe.

The Plot
Fred MacMurray plays the role of Harry Willard, a simple Midwest business person who takes his household on a long-awaited trip to Europe. The trip rapidly becomes a comic disaster as the American family encounters one misadventure after another.

The crux of the humor focuses on Harry Willard's attempts to assert control and get his household out of one absurd circumstance after another, with amusing outcomes. The household consists of partner Katie (Jane Wyman), teenage daughter Amy (Deborah Walley), older kid Elliott (Tommy Kirk), and more youthful child Skipper (Kevin Corcoran), with each member contributing their share to the chaos.

Mayhem and Adventures
The comedy starts when their luxurious ocean liner journey is hindered due to Amy's scandalous romantic intermediaries. They then discover themselves broke in France, barely able to manage third-class accommodations for the remainder of their journey. Younger child Skipper stumbles into a network of spies bring top-secret documents, thrillingly raising the stakes and shifting the story into the category of experience.

Throughout the turmoil and adventures, the film provides some gorgeous scenic views of the French Riviera. The Willards, through their many misadventures, discover themselves in a few of the most gorgeous and historical places in Europe, consisting of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Colosseum in Rome.

Comic Relief
"Bon Voyage!" is filled with comic relief and funny episodes. For example, Harry gets jailed after an amusing bar brawl; Elliott discovers love with an older woman, causing an unforgettable bike chase through the countryside; and the younger Skipper transforms from an innocent child to a budding detective, keeping the audience engaged and captivated.

Performances and Reception
Fred MacMurray and Jane Wyman provide excellent efficiencies, effectively depicting their characters as the average American couple confronted with extraordinary circumstances. The more youthful stars also shine in their functions, making their characters pleasant and relatable.

Upon release, "Bon Voyage!" was received with blended reviews. Critics applauded its light-hearted comedy and awesome place recording but criticized the film for its predictable plot and stereotyped representation of American tourists. However, it carried out well at the box workplace, making it a business success.

"Bon Voyage!" is an exciting family adventure motion picture where the unanticipated always occurs. The Willard family's European trip ends up being a source of endless funny and a few moments of thrilling suspense. While it might not be a cinematic masterpiece, "Bon Voyage!" guarantees an excellent laugh and an entertaining experience for the entire family.

Top Cast

  • Fred MacMurray (small)
    Fred MacMurray
    Harry Willard
  • Jane Wyman (small)
    Jane Wyman
    Katherine "Katie" Willard
  • Michael Callan (small)
    Michael Callan
    Nick O'Mara
  • Deborah Walley (small)
    Deborah Walley
    Amy Willard
  • Jessie Royce Landis (small)
    Jessie Royce Landis
    Countessa 'La Comtesse' DuFresne
  • Tommy Kirk (small)
    Tommy Kirk
    Elliott Willard
  • Georgette Anys (small)
    Georgette Anys
    Madame Clebert
  • Kevin Corcoran (small)
    Kevin Corcoran
    Skipper Willard
  • Ivan Desny (small)
    Ivan Desny
    Rudolph Hunschak
  • Françoise Prévost (small)
    Françoise Prévost
    The Girl
  • Alex Gerry (small)
    Alex Gerry
    Horace Bidwell