A French Male Road Flick

A critical favorite of French film critics, New Wave director Alain Cavalier’s Fill’er Up with Super (“Le plein de super” in its native French) is an absorbing road comedy about four men bonding over a long car drive. Starring Patrick Bouchitey, Étienne Chicot, Bernard Crombey, and Xavier Saint-Macary, the four actors extensively work-shopped their antics together so the result is naturalistic and relaxed without feeling staged like most dramas.

Years ahead of its time, Fill’er Up With Super is more about the journey than its destination. A bit aimless in structure, Cavalier adapts almost a quasi-documentary approach he’d further develop in the 1980s.

Fill’er Up with Super is a careful, almost sensitive comedy about the meaning of masculinity

Klouk (Bernard Crombey) is a car salesman whose boss gives him a thankless job at the last minute. Canceling plans for a holiday with his wife, Klouk has to deliver a new luxury station wagon across the country to a wealthy client. He takes his friend Philippe (Xavier Saint-Macary) along with him on the journey across France from Lille to the Cote d’Azur, making several stops along the way.

On the way they pick up a hitchhiker, Charles (Etienne Chicot). His carefree attitude and reckless disregard of civilized behavior cause nothing but grief for Klouk. A free spirit, the hitchhiker is the direct opposite of the button-downed car salesman. Charles also brings along his friend Daniel (Patrick Bouchitey) for more mischief.

Fill’er Up with Super is a careful, almost sensitive comedy about the meaning of masculinity. Cavalier adapts a subtle French approach to the joys and mysteries of four men bonding. Thoughtfully tackling the obstacles of what it means to be a man in modern society, it could be seen as a measured response to the waves of feminism which hit in the 1960s and 1970s.

Experimental in development and style, the character-driven plot is really secondary. Casting four young actors in their twenties as leads, each actor handled their own character’s development by work-shopping the film’s dialogue and chemistry before filming anything.

The result is a fluid, incredibly realistic portrayal of four friends hanging out together on the road as they get into and out of trouble. There is a wry, humane sense of humor laden with the drama of everyday pressures pushing these men together. When we discover the miscreant Charles is a father of a young boy who briefly joins the group, it’s a touching moment of character depth.


Radiance Films has promised stellar transfers from the original elements for their releases. Fill’er Up with Super lands on Blu-ray with resounding success. Included in the booklet is this note on the transfer:

Fill ‘er Up with Super was scanned in 2K and restored and colour graded by Gaumont in 2018. Additional colour correction was performed by Radiance Films in 2022.”

A 2K restoration from the clean original negative results in outstanding video quality, film-like and bristling with definition. Excellent grain reproduction and healthy colors leaning towards browner hues produce nice clarity. Fine detail reveals a stable, consistent 1.66:1 presentation fully replicating the 35mm Panavision aesthetic.

Fill’er Up with Super runs a complete 96 minutes on a BD-50, encoded in incredibly lavish AVC parameters. The top-notch encode remains stable and transparent under the deeper black levels and rich contrast.

Any inconsistencies seen in the 1080p resolution can be chalked up to the loose nature of how the French film was shot. Brief snippets lapse into softer territory but exteriors are generally crisp with strong depth and shadow delineation.


The original French mono soundtrack was restored by Radiance Films in 2022, producing 2.0 PCM audio on Blu-ray. The recording catches completely intelligible dialogue in ordinary dynamics. A handful of environmental noises make their presence felt but Fill’er Up with Super predominantly offers stout dialogue reproduction.

A musical score by Étienne Chicot plays out nicely without any harshness or shrill higher notes. The soundtrack is beyond serviceable, if a little threadbare given the freewheeling nature of how the film was made.

Optional English subtitles play in a white font.


The first English-friendly release for Fill’er Up with Super comes courtesy of new British label Radiance Films. Formerly of Arrow Video, Fran Simeoni’s Radiance Films launched in 2022 looking to make its presence felt in both the UK and America.

Each Radiance limited edition release comes with a removable OBI strip that allows the outer packaging to be completely free of markings and text, alongside reversible cover art. Fill’er Up with Super is accompanied by new and archival bonus features featuuringthose who made the film in several interviews. A 28-page booklet is packed with essays by Murielle Joudet and Evelyne Caron-Lowins.

The disc is coded for both Region A and B. It is limited to 2000 units.

Friends First and Foremost (27:38 in HD; French with English subtitles) – An interview piece with star Bernard Crombey about his friendships with the other actors.

2022 Appreciation by Cahiers du Cinema deputy editor Charlotte Garson (27:37 in HD) – A Radiance exclusive, Garson delves into the movie and its loose narrative approach in this insightful visual essay.

Cavalier “directs” three short modern film interviews with the cast, extensions of the movie’s laid-back filmmaking:

My Wife Lives in Fear (04:30 in HD)

It’s a Full House (06:09 in HD)

The King of the Bottle (08:33 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Fill'er Up with Super
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French New Wave director Alain Cavalier explores the mysteries of male bonding and masculinity in this engaging road film from the 1970s

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 39 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots ripped directly from the Blu-ray:

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