It's Fernandel's film ,in every sense of the word ;the director is unknown and he apparently remains at his star's beck and call.
"Honoré De Marseille" is a very uneven movie,with a desultory script .It's close to the movie made up of sketches; by and large ,it consists of five parts :
1)Ethnology in Marseille town.
An ethnologist comes to interview a Marseillais of old stock ;it was obviously inspired by Sacha Guitry 's series of historical movies such as "Si Versailles M'Etait Conté" but the writers cannot hold a candle to him .These humble cheerful Marseillais have never heard of ethnologists but they pretend they do and Honoré begins to tell the story of his dear city Two costume sequences are included :Honorius ,my Roman ancestor ,founded Massilia when he married the Ligure tribe chief's daughter ;then ,later on,in the Pompey/Ceasar rivalry days ,Honoris,another forefather,made the wrong choice,and ,besieged by Julius' armies,he invented the game of Pétanque to stave off boredom.
2) Fishing party.
Very macho lines make it the most unpleasant segment of the movie . But he who laughs last....
Certainly the funniest part ;Saturnin is a cuckold ,but ,in spite of involuntary gaffes,he does not realize his misfortune .
4)Weary Xmas .
While Honoré ,wife and daughter are decorating the tree,up comes a wop : a friendly piece of advice will prove disastrous.
5)The beauty contest .
A greybeard covets one of the beauties,and asks Honoré to make her win the "miss ocean blue" title.
Fernandel sings three or four songs ,not among his best in his repertoire. The movie has its moments and should appeal to Fernandel's fans;the others can do without it.
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