Honoré Panisse is dying, cheerfully, with friends, wife, and son at his side. He confesses to the priest in front of his friends; he insists that the doctor be truthful. But, he cannot ... See full summary »
In this little Provencal village, a new baker, Aimable, settles down. His wife Aurelie is beautiful and much younger than he. She departs with a shepherd the night after Aimable produces ... See full summary »
"Fanny" is the second part of the "Marseille trilogy", made by Marcel Pagnol with the generic name of "Marius, Fanny and César". Fanny falls in love and is abandoned by Marius. Now she ... See full summary »
Marius has left, signed up for a five year hitch on a ship bound for the Indian Ocean. In his few letters to his father César, he hardly mentions Fanny. When she finds she is pregnant, she considers her options: suicide, to raise the child on her own, to wait for Marius, or to marry Honoré Panisse, the older merchant who seeks her hand. These choices are emotional: to raise a bastard, to trust in Marius' eventual return, to believe he'll want to marry her, to save her mother from shame, to fool Panisse, to give her child a name. In scenes dramatizing Fanny's honesty, she talks to her mother, then Panisse, César, and later Marius, and she makes her choices. Written by
Part the Second of this trilogy reminds us that at heart it is pure melodrama and if not quite 'dead! and never called me mother', it is certainly from the same stable. Arguably Orane Demazis - replicating here, as indeed are all the principals, her stage role as the eponymous seduced and abandoned and slightly enceinte ingenue - is the weakest link in an unusually strong chain yet even then with the handicap of being saddled with a role that today would be risible (I doubt if it is possible to 'SPOIL' a classic which is now some 72 years old so suffice it to say that as a result of 'giving herself' to Marius, shortly before he ships out on an extended cruise, Fanny finds herself in an 'interesting' position and must make some tough choices. Today, of course, it is practically an honor to fall pregnant with no father material in sight and a State standing by to cosset the resulting infant from cradle to grave but in 1932 the resulting 'shame' embraced not only the mother-to-be but also her family) she manages to elicit our compassion and keep our humor at bay. Pedants will have a field day with the dodgy arithmetic - Marius has supposedly signed up for a five-year voyage yet on his return Fanny's son is a mere 10 months old - but what matters is the acting-plus-believability factor and here, thanks as always to the great Raimu, aided and abetted by Fernand Charpin, Alida Rouffe and Milly Mathis they bring it off to a fare-thee-well. Pierre Fresnay as Marius does little more than play the fly-in-the-ointment in the closing quarter of the movie and may well have been looking ahead one full decade to 'Le Corbeau'. Building on the first part and moving seamlessly to the next stage this is a worthy successor to 'Marius'. 9/10
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