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The Happy Time (1952)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 287 users  
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Spring inspires lessons in love and life for a French family in 1920s Ottawa, especially for teenage Robert, who's blind to the attentions of an American neighbor girl, because he's ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (stories), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Happy Time (1952)

The Happy Time (1952) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacques Bonnard
Uncle Desmond Bonnard
Susan Bonnard
Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard
Mignonette Chappuis
Uncle Louis Bonnard
Grandpere Bonnard
Felice Bonnard
Jack Raine ...
Mr. Frye - School Principal
Alfred Grattin
Peggy O'Hare
Gene Collins ...
Jimmy Bishop
Ann Faber ...
Yvonne Bonnard
Kathryn Sheldon ...
Miss Tate - Schoolteacher
Edward Clark ...
Dr. Marchaud


Spring inspires lessons in love and life for a French family in 1920s Ottawa, especially for teenage Robert, who's blind to the attentions of an American neighbor girl, because he's infatuated with the beautiful new maid, fleeing life as a magician's assistant. Robert's mother bemoans some of the Bonnard family male role models available to Robert: his party animal grandfather, roguish traveling salesman uncle Desmond, and an uncle who carries a water cooler filled with wine everywhere while his wife does all the work. As Desmond's temporarily off the road, he also targets the maid. Written by David Stevens

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based on play




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Release Date:

3 December 1952 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Happy Time  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dr. Marchaud: [taking Grandpere's pulse] I've warned you before: it's bad enough for a young man to burn the candle at both ends; but with you, there's nothing but the wick-and that's burnt out.
Grandpere Bonnard: Hmph! A man stumbles in the street - and then the vultures gather!
Dr. Marchaud: The pulse is like a roller coaster at Luna Park.
[to Desmond]
Dr. Marchaud: Open his shirt.
Grandpere Bonnard: Must I endure this? I'm not a public display!
Dr. Marchaud: No, you're a public nuisance.
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Features The Son of the Sheik (1926) See more »


Lohengrin: Act 3
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by John Leipold
See more »

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User Reviews

Grow Up with Bobby Driscoll
26 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Charles Boyer, Louis Jourdan, Marsha Hunt, Kurt Kaszner and child star Bobby Driscoll star in this charming coming-of-age story called The Happy Time. Boyer and Hunt are the parents of Bobby, while Louis is an uncle known as a Casanova and Kaszner is another uncle who lives across the street who drinks all day while his wife (Jeanette Nolan) makes the money as a seamstress. The film shows the uncles with all their eccentricities, but the young boy is at the heart of the film with his being picked on at school, a young girl with braces liking him, and his own infatuation of an ex-vaudeville star hired to help around the house. And, even Grandpa is a fanciful man who tries to keep young by being interested in the opposite sex. Boyer and Hunt, as the parents, provide much of the film's stability, and the film has some of its best moments centering on the boy. But it seems a bit uneven, because some of their characters are not as interesting as others. And, I found myself thinking it was a bit too whimsical with not enough depth. But then in the end, Boyer has a great talk with young Bobby about the right kind of love and how the world suffers from having our natural urges without love. All in all, I feel I discovered a good little film, which I think I will love more and more each time I see it. The film's success lies in showing a family made up of different personalities all looking for the same thing and their young-at-heart hope they share for tomorrow.

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