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
Although Marius was primarily written for the stage, Pagnol brilliantly adapted this very theatrical piece to the screen. With the complicity and mastery of Korda's impeccable direction, while talkies were still in their infancy and sound recording was still a challenge, Marius flawlessly delivers high quality dialogues with superb photography of pre-war Marseilles accompanied by a suitable musical score. What is timeless in this masterpiece is the depth of the characters, their emotions, their trials, their flaws and their yearnings, all bathed in the humour unique to Pagnol and the spicy flavour of Southern French. I saw this movie for the first time when I was 9 years old - I was in awe - and for fifty years since have seen it a number of times. I don't think I'll ever grow tired of watching it again and again. A timeless piece!
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