7.5/10
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The Baker's Wife (1938)

La femme du boulanger (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 26 February 1940 (USA)
A small village rejoices at the arrival of a new baker. But when his young wife runs off with another man, he is unable to keep baking and the village is thrown into disarray.

Director:

Marcel Pagnol

Writer:

Jean Giono (novel)
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Raimu ... Aimable Castanier
Ginette Leclerc ... Aurélie Castanier
Fernand Charpin ... Le marquis Castan de Venelles (as Charpin)
Robert Vattier ... Le curé
Charles Blavette ... Antonin
Robert Bassac Robert Bassac ... L'instituteur
Marcel Maupi Marcel Maupi ... Barnabé (as Maupi)
Alida Rouffe Alida Rouffe ... Céleste, la bonne du curé
Odette Roger Odette Roger ... Miette, la femme d'Antonin
Yvette Fournier Yvette Fournier ... Hermine
Maximilienne Maximilienne ... Melle Angèle (as Maximilienne Max)
Charblay Charblay ... Arsène, le boucher
Julien Maffre Julien Maffre ... Pétugue (as Maffre)
Adrien Legros Adrien Legros ... Barthelemy
Jean Castan Jean Castan ... Esprit, un berger
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Storyline

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 his first breads. Aimable is so afflicted that he can not work anymore. Therefore, the villagers, who initially laughed at his cuckoldry, take the matter very seriously (they want the bread) and organize a plan to find Aurelie and to bring her back to the bakery. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of infidelity related in terms of economics.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

26 February 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Baker's Wife See more »

Filming Locations:

Le Castellet, Var, France See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,991
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After WWII, Orson Welles came to see director Marcel Pagnol, told him he saw the movie and he would like to meet Raimu, "the greatest actor in the world" according to Welles. Pagnol answered Raimu recently died and Welles burst into tears. (Source: "Confidences" by Pagnol.) See more »

Goofs

At their lunch table, the priest pours himself a glass of wine and while he's still holding the bottle, the scene cuts to the marquis who picks up the bottle from the table to pour his own glass. See more »

Connections

Remade as La femme du boulanger (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Raimu
19 February 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

In a town where the priest and the teacher argue, where neighbors wrangle because this one's trees as throwing shade on the other's giant cabbages, where no one talks to anyone else for reasons their grandfathers didn't remember, where the last baker hanged himself, there's a new baker in town. It's Raimu, and his bread is magnificent. His wife, pretty Ginette Leclerc promptly runs off wife a handsome shepherd. Raimu promptly goes to pieces and the town is split between mocking him, calling her a tramp and worrying about where they'll get bread.

One of the stories about this movie is that Marcel Pagnol wanted Joan Crawford for the role of the baker's wife. She declined on the grounds that she didn't speak French. The other story is that after the war, Orson Welles asked Pagnol for an introduction to Raimu. He was told Raimu was dead and wept. I can understand the reaction. Raimu is so clueless and sad and yet very funny in the role. Any man who has had a woman he loves leave him without any warning can sympathize, even as he looks at Raimu and laughs.

Raimu could fill this movie by himself, yet there are other good roles: the local nobleman who has seven young women living in his chateau; the priest who mouths platitudes without understanding anything; the women who gossip and wrangle among themselves; the old man who has found Mlle Leclerc, but has to tell the long story his own way.

I'd like to have seen Miss Crawford in the role. She would have aced the physical acting, and if she couldn't be coached in the thirty or forty words the character speaks, they could have looped her sides. No one could have replaced Raimu in this magnificent, sad comedy.


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