César runs a bar along Marseilles' port, assisted by his 23 year old son, Marius. Colorful characters abound: M. Panisse, an aging widower and prosperous sail maker; Honorine, a fishmonger ... See full summary »
César runs a bar along Marseilles' port, assisted by his 23 year old son, Marius. Colorful characters abound: M. Panisse, an aging widower and prosperous sail maker; Honorine, a fishmonger with a sidewalk stall near the bar; her daughter, Fanny, who helps her sell cockles; and, various old salts. Friends since childhood, Fanny and Marius love each other, but Marius has a secret wanderlust: every ship's whistle stirs a longing for foreign lands. When M. Panisse seeks Fanny's hand in marriage and when a departing clipper needs a deckhand, Marius and Fanny must decide who and what they love most. César, with his generous, comic spirit, tries to guide his son. Written by
I don't know how much new I have to say about this movie that others have not said already. I have watched this movie over and over, I have had the pleasure of teaching it in a French literature and culture course. Every time I watch it I marvel at how well it is done. The acting is uniformly excellent - but then, these actors had performed the play from which this movie was drawn hundreds of times and had been hand-picked by Pagnol. They will definitely strike modern audiences as theatrical, but that is one of the points Pagnol was making about the people of Marseille: they were fond of drama and "performed" in life. The script is clever, and sometimes hilarious. Scenes like 1) César teaching Marius how to make a mandarin-citron (a drink); 2) César, Panisse, Escartefigue, and M Brun playing a round of cards with César cheating; 3) Marius fuming when Panisse makes passes at Fanny in the bar; and many others are even funnier the 10th time than the first. The music is wonderful. In short, this movie is a marvel, full of acting gems. See it!
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