7.1/10
349
19 user 3 critic

The Happy Time (1952)

Approved | | Comedy | 3 December 1952 (Denmark)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (stories) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jacques Bonnard
...
Uncle Desmond Bonnard
...
Susan Bonnard
...
Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard
...
Mignonette Chappuis
...
Uncle Louis Bonnard
...
Grandpere Bonnard
...
Felice Bonnard
...
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
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »

Taglines:

"Eet ees magnifique". And it's all about the birds and the bees...and a lot of delightful people.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 December 1952 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Mein Sohn entdeckt die Liebe  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marsha Hunt was offered the same part in the original Broadway production but turned it down. The part ultimately went to Leora Dana, who met and married actor Kurt Kaszner during the run of the play. See more »

Quotes

Jacques Bonnard: I think you and I should have a little talk. Sit down, Bibi. Well, there is no need to ask you why you did what you did. The reason is obvious: you did it because... why did you do it?
Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard: I had a desire to know what would happen... if I kissed Mignonette the way Valentino did.
Jacques Bonnard: You were curious.
Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard: Oui, curious.
Jacques Bonnard: Nothing more.
Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard: There is something more, but I don't know what it is.
Jacques Bonnard: Ah. Well. It is this 'something more' of which we shall speak. Now you see, Bibi, this... desire you have, it's a natural ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features The Son of the Sheik (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

Invitation to the Dance
(uncredited)
Music by Carl Maria von Weber
Arranged by John Leipold
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Moralities Explained: Frankly French and Subtly Perfect
6 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An unscheduled afternoon's rest put me back in touch with The Happy Time. The film was several minutes into itself, but I recognized a good thing when I saw it again. To be honest, not quite. For a moment I was remembering Charles Boyer in another comic-drama whose title I've never been able to recall. In it he says "Nuts to the squirrels" several times so that it becomes a catch-phrase for "Live and let live." So here I am getting reacquainted with Boyer, Louis Jourdan, Kurt Kazner, Marsha Hunt, and the growing-up Bobby Driscoll. Along comes a scene which is one of filmdom's best for sorting the difference between morality and moralizing. Driscoll, as the son entering puberty, reveals a strop beating by his school master. Not severe physically, but emotionally hurtful. He had taken to school a sort of French postcard. It was in the house as one of an uncle's possessions. At school, someone had sketched it "dirty," so to speak. But it's merely risqué. This French-Canadian family has retained all of its French. Therein is the theme of tolerance for humanity's differences, including love in its varieties explained in our Classical history by the Greek three of agape, philos, and eros. In a scene which could be used for a father-son banquet, Boyer is at his best in a dialog with his son Driscoll, composed by film writers:

-- Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard: There is something more, but I don't know what it is. Jacques Bonnard: Ah. Well. It is this 'something more' of which we shall speak. Now you see, Bibi, this... desire you have, it's a natural one, and since it is natural, it cannot be bad. It becomes bad only when the reason is bad. That is why so many people are mixed up Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard: I, too, am mixed up. Jacques Bonnard: Well, of course! So am I. Well, let's try to unmix ourselves, shall we? Now, Bibi, we speak now of love. And where there is love, there is also desire; they go together. Love must have the desire; I don't believe there can be love without it. But, it is possible to have the desire without love, and this is where the world falls apart. For instance, you don't understand why the principal of your school beat you. Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard: No, papa. Jacques Bonnard: Well, it is because he has been brought up to believe that the desire is wrong. And since he himself has the desire, he's even more mixed up than we are! He has been brought up in a world where the desire has been used so badly--so badly, believe me--that it itself is thought to be bad; and this is wrong. This is wrong, Bibi. And you know the reason for this condition? It is because so many people are without love. ... In a way, the world comes down to a house, and a room, and a bed. And if there are two people in love there, then that is the whole world. Of course you won't know this for many years. You know, it is possible never to know it? I hope you will. If you are as lucky as I am, you will. ...the secret is not to imitate. Look for your heart's need, and then she will come. Well, I've talked enough, and still you don't know what I wish to say. ... Well, perhaps, when we speak again, I will find better words. --

This, of course, is merely a taste of the whole fruit delivered so deliciously by Boyer. And of course a girl has put Bibi into these troubles at school as she works her way into his attention. Of course, also, this young thing appears in the next the scene. She and Bibi stand alone and gaze, and they kiss. And the mother, of course, walks in on them, of course. While there is surprise, there is no trouble because they are French. They understand.


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