The precedent user was surprised by the happy ending.First thing to bear in mind is that it is a novel by Alphonse Daudet transferred to the screen.And as this novel was partly autobiographic ,the screenplay could not modify it..
Like in the novel,the most interesting part is the first one:as his family was broke ,Daniel Eyssette had to work as a supervisor in a school.This was inspired by Daudet's salad days as he was himself a supervisor .The marvelous scene when Daniel tells his "little" pupils about the misfortunes of Jeannot Lapin (Johnny Rabbit) has been developed with good results;the arrogant marquis and his horrid son are present too;so is the slick fencing master who takes advantage of Daniel's poetic skills .
The second part is not as endearing ,because Maurice Cloche did not completely succeed in making us feel the love between the two brothers .Daniel called his beloved brother "my mother Jacques" .Fortunately ,this second part is dominated by Arletty ,as Irma Borel (Borel means Bourreau (= torturer),says Daniel),who steals every scene she's in as usual.Although her presence on the screen does not exceed 15 min,she makes all those minutes count.
Like the secondary school staff or the fencing master,Irma Borel laughs at this poor boy,who,like the good vicar said,will stay a child for life.
Robert Lynen had already portrayed another poor boy,"Poil de Carotte" (=Carotte top) in Duvivier's second version of the novel by Jules Renard in 1932.
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