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Toine, the local hunchback, works at the tile manufacturing plant, but during the summer, he gives a hand to Micoulin, the farmer, thereby being able to spend more time close to Nais, Micoulin's daughter. That summer, the estate owner's son, Frederic Rostaing, decides to rest on the farm during his vacation from Law school. But his real motives are to seduce young Nais, whom he knows from their childhood days, after having seen her in town. Who will win the power struggle between the possessive father, the naive daughter, the vile student and the golden-hearted cripple? Written by
Although Pagnol is only the "supervisor" here,I thought for a long time he was the director .Anyway ,the movie is Pagnolesque to a fault,even if it is based upon a -not very famous- short story by Emile Zola.
In "Angèle" (1934)Fernandel was cast as a half-wit,in love with his boss's daughter who was seduced by a bad boy from Marseille town.
In "Naïs" ,Fernandel is cast as a hunchback,in love with a fisherman's daughter ;enter Frederic (Raymond Pellegrin)a guy from the town.Guess what happens.Well,Frederic seduces Naïs the girl and her father is not prepared to accept it.
This may seem trite,but this two-hour movie is never boring:the beautiful landscapes of Provence,the charming Jacqueline Bouvier (soon to become Mrs Pagnol and the future star of the first version of "Manon des Sources " where she meets again Raymond Pellegrin cast as the schoolteacher),some suspenseful scenes and above all Fernandel,as strong an actor in tragedy as he was in comedy.
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