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
With its stagy direction, its straightforward storyline and its lovable character depictions this first part of Marcel Pagnol's Marseilles trilogy offers a welcome relief from today's often all too florid movies.
Of course, it all seems quite broad, static and dated at first, but if you look behind the theatrics, the powerful sincerity and humanity of Pagnol's vision - coupled with some wonderful performances and the writing's flawless mélange of bitterness and sweetness, of jocular humour and heartwarming sentiment, of life's average highs and lows - more than make up for it.
8 out of 10 cuckolded sailors
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