The film famously contains a scene where characters listen to Maréchal Philippe Pétain's 17 June 1940 speech on the radio, announcing the need for an armistice with Adolf Hitler's Germany. Following the liberation of France in 1944, this was replaced with a speech by the Leader of Free France, General Charles de Gaulle, which made no sense in the context of the film. The Pétain speech was reinstated in recent years.
The film was started on 20th May 1940 but interrupted because of the war. It was only resumed on 13th August of the same year with Line Noro replacing Betty Daussmond in the role of Marie Mazel. The film was released in France unoccupied zone in December 1940, but only in April 1941 in the occupied zone.
The film was adapted to the stage in 2010 by Jean-Claude Baudracco, who also directed and starred in the play.
Was a major success in France, to the point of being the highest grossing film in 1943, more than two years after it premiered.
Filming started as World War 2 was raging in France and the sounds of canons regularly ruined the sound takes.
The film was initially not meant to feature the war and the politics of the time, but the events occurring at the time of filming found their way into the story.
The film underwent a restoration in 2019 by the Compagnie Méditerranéenne de Film, supervised by filmmaker Marcel Pagnol's grandson Nicolas Pagnol and Eric Vallée.
The first French film completed after the Armistice of 22 June 1940 to be released in occupied France.