Add a Review

  • Amadoux25 September 2006
    The only interest of this movie lies in its stylish dialogs. Besides that, we get a basic set up and a simple game play that could work on a theater stage. Léon Bernard precedes Louis De Funes in making faces, pushing the film into a way that could have been cultivated slightly better. This turns him into the most interesting character of the story, making us wait the next burst of anger he'll have with his son-in-law, wasting his money to conserve a certain quality of life. The issues of love and money are too sappy and superficial ; probably a drawback of this kind of comedy. The drama plot is built too obviously to make this film a good vintage entertainment, despite of a few interesting scenes.
  • Despite what IMDb says, Marcel Pagnol did not direct this leaden drama, his brother René did. Still, Marcel Pagnol did evidently write the dialogues. And that is hard to believe. Or, rather, it is hard to believe that he chose to adapt this long and boring nineteenth-century bourgeois drama to the screen. His adaptation is probably no worse than the play, which I have not read in years and which I hope never to read again, but believe me, if you know Pagnol masterpieces like Marius and La Femme du boulanger, you will find no similarities with this leaden mess. The performances, particularly by the men, are fine, in that they do a good job of developing the characters. But the characters are all so uninteresting and unsympathetic that their acting skill does not help things any.

    In two words, this is the story of a wealthy bourgeois who marries his only child, a daughter, to a penniless nobleman because he hopes to use his son-in-law to get a title (it takes place under the reign of king Louis Philippe, sometime between 1830-1848). The son-in-law is a lazy, affected stereotype; but M. Poirier is also a stereotype, of the obnoxious big businessman. The poor daughter, who falls in love with her husband, lets him walk all over her. In short, it is hard to imagine what audience Pagnol had in mind in the 1930s when he adapted this: who in France during the depression would have cared about any of these people?

    So, if you are a Pagnol fan - and I certainly am - you can pass on this one. More's the shame he did not himself.