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Heartbeat (1938)
"Le schpountz" (original title)

Passed  -  Comedy  -  4 September 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 496 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

Meeting a movie team on location near his house, a young man saw a lots of encouragment for his dreaming carreer as a movie star in what was only sarcasm from the members of the team. (This... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Orane Demazis ...
Fernand Charpin ...
L'oncle Baptiste Fabre (as Charpin)
Léon Belières ...
Enrico Glori ...
Bodigar Glazunoff
Robert Vattier ...
Marcel Maupi ...
Le barman
Louisard ...
Henri Poupon ...
Robert Bassac ...
Charles Blavette ...
Martelette (as Blavette)
Jean Castan ...
Casimir Fabre
André Pollack ...
L'avoué (as Pollack)
Charblay ...
Adolphe, le portier du studio
Tyrand ...
Le pape (as Tyran)


Meeting a movie team on location near his house, a young man saw a lots of encouragment for his dreaming carreer as a movie star in what was only sarcasm from the members of the team. (This is the caracteristic of a schountz: someone who see himself as a born movie comedian and is blind on the critics to his dream) After he has signed a fake contract which he blindly take as genuine even if it is ridiculous, he starts to Paris without money to make his carreer. Written by Jean-Marie Berthiaume <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heartbeat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1939) | (TCM print) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:

(Philips Soundsystem)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Schpountz" is Slavonic slang for a simple person. See more »


Unavailable for the second shooting (see trivia entry), Pierre Brasseur was replaced by Roger Forster but some of the shots involving Brasseur were still used. See more »


Remade as Le schpountz (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

"Le schpountz" : what's that thing?
4 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

Gerard Oury, who recently died ,made a remake in 1999 starring Smain and Sabine Azéma.It was greeted by a poor reception in France and the users on the IMDb agree,given its very low rating.

One cannot redo a Pagnol movie ,one cannot take on a Fernandel part.They were unique.

Not that "Le Schpounz" is a perfect movie:its last part (or should I say its last act for,as most of Pagnol's movies of that era,it was first a play) drags on a bit too much.

"Le Schpounz" is not a word which is in the French dictionary;it means "idiot' "moron".

Irénée (Fernandel) is sick and tired of working in his uncle 's(Charpin) grocery.He's dreaming of Hollywood .One day a film crew stops in his small village and have the poor moron sign a phony contract for Meyerboum productions.The poor fool really believes he is bound for glory so he takes a train to Paris where he is subject to bad jokes again until...

Fernandel easily switches from laughter to tears,and his words ,when he discovers he's been led up the garden path ,are bitter and harsh.There are interesting thoughts about a comic actor ,particularly when Orane Demazis talks about Charlie Chaplin.

Like "Topaze" (1932 and 1950) it's also a revenge :Irénée was humiliated in his grocery (this boy is no good at anything!)as Topaze was a ridiculous little teacher in love with his headmaster's daughter who laughed behind his back.Both have made their way of life:the former has become a star,the latter a businessman.Irenée,however,remains a nice person (so does his uncle who 's got a heart of gold in fact) whereas Jouvet made Topaze a disturbing character in the first version.

NB.Watch out for Pierre Brasseur's cameo as "Cousine" ,a gay who thinks that men should not marry women.(sic)

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