Marcel Pagnol

Sog., Scen.: Marcel Pagnol; F.: Willy Faktorovitch; Mo.: Suzanne De Troeye, Suzanne Cabon, Jeannette Ginestet; Mu.: Casimir Oberfeld, Canzoni Di Jean Manse; Su.: Marcel Lavoignat (Interni), Jean Lecocq (Esterni); Int.: Fernandel (Irenée Fabre), Odette Roger (La Zia, Clarisse Fabre), Jean Castan (Il Figlio Casimir), Orane Demazis (Françoise), Fernand Charpin (Lo Zio Baptiste Fabre), Maupi (Barista), Robert Vattier (Astruc, Il Capo Operatore), Léon Bélières (Meyerboom, Il Produttore), Enrico Glori (Bogidar Glazounow, Il Regista), Henri Poupon (Galubert, Alias Napoléon), Louisard (Charlet), Robert Bassac (Dromart), Charles Blavette (Martelette), André Pollack (Procuratore Legale), José Tyrand (“Il Papa”), Charblay (Il Portiere Degli Studios), Borel (L’accessorista), Alida Rouffe (Madame Fénuze), Champetier (Nick), Pierre Brasseur (Cousine), Louis Ducreux; Prod.: Marcel Pagnol Per Les Films Marcel Pagnol; Pri. Pro.: Parigi, Aprile 1938 35mm. L.: 3347 M. D.: 122’. Bn. 

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Pagnol’s least-known masterpiece. Starting from a true story that actually happened to his crew during the filming of Angèle, Pagnol created a comic fable that no longer has theatrical origins, that belongs to no genre and whose moral sense and content alter variously, according to the twists of an intrigue which is rich and constantly renewed. This little fable, full of movement, reveals a poetic art which does not boast the pretension of being so. It serves as a pretext for Pagnol to depict with a picturesque and acid view the little world of the French cinema in the early years of sound, to express concretely his ideas on the role of comics and comedy in society, to imagine people who, while faithfully illustrating his theme, live their own lives and inspire in the spectator contradictory and even sometimes ambiguous sentiments. The work of a great writer, of a great director of actors, of a creator of incredibly imaginating characters, Le Schpountz gives Fernandel one of his richest roles. In the opening and closing scenes of the film, opposing and reacting (…) Fernandel and Charpin are outstanding.
N.B. The film was shot simultaneously alongside Regain so that the crew moved from one set to the other. A tour de force in which Pagnol, always ahead of the times, preceded Gilles Grangier (L’homme de joie and L’amant de paille, 1950) and Edgar Ulmer (Beyond the Time Barrier and The Amazing Transparent Man, 1960).

Jacques Lourcelles, Dictionnaire du cinéma, Laffont, Paris, 1992

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