Marcel Pagnol

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Marcel Pagnol is often dismissed in film histories as an author of "canned theater" whose appeal is limited to a certain regional quaintness. This attitude is partly due to the fact that he first found fame as a ... Read more »
Born: 02/28/1895 in France

Filmography

Writer (18)

Fanny 2014 (Movie)

(from writings: "Bernard de Fallois Editions") (Source Material)

Marius 2014 (Movie)

(from writings: "Bernard de Fallois Editions") (Source Material)

The Well Digger's Daughter 2012 (Movie)

(from original screenplay: "La Fille Du Puisatier") (Source Material)

Pirouette 1992 (Movie)

from screenplay (From Story)

La Gloire de mon pere 1991 (Movie)

from autobiography("La Gloire de mon pere") (Book as Source Material)

My Mother's Castle 1991 (Movie)

from autobiography (Book as Source Material)

Jean de Florette 1987 (Movie)

("L'eau des collines") (Source Material (from novel))

Jean de Florette 1987 (Movie)

original dialogue (Writer (dialogue))

Manon des sources 1987 (Movie)

original dialogue (Writer (dialogue))

Manon des sources 1987 (Movie)

("L'eau des collines") (Source Material (from novel))

Fanny 1961 (Movie)

from film("Cesar") (Story By)

I Like Money 1961 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

Les Lettres de Mon Moulin 1954 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Manon of the Spring 1953 (Movie)

(Source Material (from novel))

Manon of the Spring 1953 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Topaze 1932 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

Carnival (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Port of Seven Seas (Movie)

(Play Author)
Producer (3)

Les Lettres de Mon Moulin 1954 (Movie)

(Producer)

Manon of the Spring 1953 (Movie)

(Producer)

Carnival (Movie)

(Producer)
Director (2)

Les Lettres de Mon Moulin 1954 (Movie)

(Director)

Manon of the Spring 1953 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

Marcel Pagnol is often dismissed in film histories as an author of "canned theater" whose appeal is limited to a certain regional quaintness. This attitude is partly due to the fact that he first found fame as a playwright, but Pagnol did play a central role in developing and popularizing sound film in France. At a time when the French film industry was being radically transformed by the introduction of sound, Pagnol emerged as a major writer, director and producer of hugely successful films. Like Sacha Guitry, another homme du theatre with whom he is often compared, Pagnol initially assigned film a dubious artistic status, but once he became interested in the medium, he abandoned the theater altogether and in 1933 founded his own production company, Les Societe des Films Marcel Pagnol. In the process Pagnol became one of the few French directors of the period to control virtually every aspect of film production.

Relationships

Josette Day Actor

Companion
Pagnol's companion from c. 1940 born July 31, 1914 in Paris died 1978 best remembered as Beauty in Jean Cocteau's memorable adaptation of "La Belle et la Bete/Beauty and the Beast" (1946) acted title role of Pagnol's "La Fille du Puisatier/The Well-Digger's Daughter" (1941)

Orane Demazis Actor

Companion
Pagnol's companion for 10 years c. 1929 to 1938 born 1904, died 1991 played the central character "Fanny" in the Paris stage productions of Pagnol's Marseilles trilogy "Marius," "Fanny" acted in several films written, produced or directed by Pagnol

Jacqueline Pagnol

Wife
Born in Paris 1926 Married 1944 until his death 1974; played in several of Pagnol's films including title role of "Manon Des Sources" (1952)

Joseph Pagnol

Father

Augustine Pagnol

Mother
died 1910 when Pagnol was 15

Frederic Pagnol

Son
mother Jacqueline Bouvier

EDUCATION

Lycee Thiers

1914

Milestones

1991

London stage revival of Stephen Schwartz musical, "The Baker's Wife" directed by Trevor Nunn and starring Alun Armstrong

1963

Published "L'Eau des Collines/The Water of the Hills", a two-volume epic reworking earlier material; later adapted into Claude Berri's acclaimed films "Jean De Florette" and "Manon of the Spring" (both 1986)

1954

Theatrical impresario David Merrick produced a Broadway musical, "Fanny" based on Pagnol's Marseille trilogy

1954

Directed last film, "Les Lettres de Mon Moulin/Letters from My Windmill"

1950

Directed another remake of "Topaze"

1948

Directed "Le Belle Meuniere", starring Tino Rossi, experimenting with new color film process, Rouxcolor

1947

Inducted into the Academie Francaise, the first filmmaker to be so honored

1940

Ended working relationship with Giono after a falling out between the two men (date approximate)

1938

Made best-remembered film outside of Marseilles trilogy, "La Femme du boulanger/The Baker's Wife"

1936

Directed his own remake of "Topaze"

1936

Wrote and directed conclusion of Marseilles trilogy, "Cesar", directly for the screen

1934

Initiated collaboration with writer Jean Giono (1895-1970) on "Jofroi/Ways of Love"

1934

Produced "Toni", directed by Jean Renoir

1934

Changed name of company to "La Societe des Films Marcel Pagnol

1933

First American adaptation of a Pagnol work, "Topaze", directed by Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast from a Ben Hecht script for RKO

1933

Co-directed first film, "Direct au Coeur/Straight from the Heart" (with Roger Lion)

1933

Formed film production company, "Les Auteurs Associes", with a studio in Marseilles; made arrangements with several local theaters to serve as outlets for his films

1933

Solo directed first film, "Le Gendre de Monsieur Poirier"

1932

Produced first film, "Fanny", directed by Marc Allegret, the second installment in his trilogy

1931

Granted film rights to "Topaze" to Paramount Publix, the French subsidiary of the American film studio; film made by Louis Gasnier the following year

1931

First film adaptation of a Pagnol work, "Marius", directed by Alexander Korda, the first installment in what would become known as his "Marseilles trilogy"

1928

Success of "Topaze" and "Marius" cemented Pagnol's popularity and reputation

1926

Wrote "Jazz", a play based to some extent on his experiences as a teacher

1925

Quit teaching job when "Merchants" was staged at the Theatre de la Madeleine

1922

Moved to Paris; taught high school; co-authored "Les Marchands de Gloire/The Merchants of Glory" with Paul Nivoix

1910

Wrote first play, "Catulle/Catullus" (based on the life of the Roman poet), when he was 15

Retired from the cinema to write plays and four volumes of memoirs under the heading "Souvenirs D'Enfance/Memories of Childhood"

Founded a literary journal, "Fortunio", published in Marseilles (later renamed "Les Cahiers du Sud")

First collaborative effort, the one-act play "Ulysse Chez les Pheniciens/Ulysses in the House of the Phoenicians", with Arno Charles Brun

First novel, "La Petite Fille aux Yeux Sombres/The Little Girl with the Dark Eyes"

Spent childhood in Marseilles

Bonus Trivia

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Some critics such as Roud consider Pagnol's "Angele" (1934) the first "neo-realist" film. Director Yves Robert claims that Roberto Rossellini used to describe Pagnol as the "real inventor of neo-realism".

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Besides the two versions of "Topaze" Pagnol himself directed and the two versions mentioned in "Milestones", the play has been filmed in Egypt ("Yacout Effendi" 1933, directed by Nagib El-Rihani), in China ("Huaxin" 1939, directed by Li Pingqian), in England ("Mr. Topaze" 1961, starring and directed by Peter Sellers) and as a television production in 1956. "Marius" and "Fanny" have likewise been filmed in several countries.

.

Over twenty years after his highly successful musical adaptation of Pagnol's Marseilles trilogy, David Merrick attempted something similar with a musical version of "The Baker's Wife", starring Topol and Patti LuPone, but it closed on the road before opening in New York.

.

Pagnol also translated Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Virgil's "Bucolics" into French.

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