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The Baker's Wife (1938)
"La femme du boulanger" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  26 February 1940 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 907 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 5 critic

In this little Provencal village, a new baker, Aimable, settles down. His wife Aurelie is beautiful and much younger than he. She departs with a shepherd the night after Aimable produces ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ginette Leclerc ...
Fernand Charpin ...
Robert Vattier ...
Charles Blavette ...
Robert Bassac ...
Marcel Maupi ...
Barnabé (as Maupi)
Alida Rouffe ...
Odette Roger ...
Miette, la femme d'Antonin
Yvette Fournier ...
Hermine
Maximilienne ...
Melle Angèle (as Maximilienne Max)
Charblay ...
Arsène, le boucher
Julien Maffre ...
Pétugue (as Maffre)
Adrien Legros ...
Barthelemy
Jean Castan ...
Esprit, un berger
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Storyline

In this little Provencal village, a new baker, Aimable, settles down. His wife Aurelie is beautiful and much younger than he. She departs with a shepherd the night after Aimable produces his first breads. Aimable is so afflicted that he can not work anymore. Therefore, the villagers, who initially laughed at his cuckoldry, take the matter very seriously (they want the bread) and organize a plan to find Aurelie and to bring her back to the bakery. Written by Yepok

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

26 February 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Baker's Wife  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marcel Pagnol wrote the part of Aurélie Castanier for Joan Crawford. The American actress declined because she didn't speak French. The part, which has a minimal amount of lines for a title role, went to Ginette Leclerc. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Les dossiers de l'écran: Boulevard du crépuscule (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best of Pagnol's films?
13 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Along with Marius, La Femme du boulanger is at the top of the list of Pagnol's films, which is to say that it is among the best films ever made. (This is not just my opinion; evidently Orson Welles said the same thing.) It is a "typical" Pagnol film, in that the plot is rudimentary at best. All the interest is the characters and their dialogue. And, despite very good performances by several of the supporting characters, this film achieves greatness because of the dialogue Pagnol gave Aimable (the baker) and the way Raimu delivers it. A mixture of the most moving pathos and the funniest comedy, the Baker is one of the great characters in film. (Trust me, the chapter in Giono's novel that served as the ostensible "inspiration" for this story is negligible. The genius is all Pagnol's.) The scene that every Frenchman knows is the last one, when Aimable takes out his anger at his wife's infidelity on their cat, Pomponette, but that is an atypical moment in this movie. It is all about Aimable's suffering, at the hands of his wife but also as a result of the way the town treats him. And Raimu conveys that suffering as only the greatest actors have: with understatement.

Marius is funnier and has greater variety of character. But La Femme du boulanger shows what a great director and screenwriter can do with great actors. Movies get no better than this.


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