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Creator / Marcel Pagnol

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Marcel Paul Pagnol (February 28, 1895 – April 18, 1974) was a French writer, playwright, filmmaker and film producer.

He is generally regarded as one of the greatest French writers of the 20th century, and something of a Renaissance Man as he is considered to have excelled in almost every medium he delved into. He is a particularly important cultural figure for Provence (South-Eastern/Mediterranean France), the area where he was born and grew up and which he naturalistically depicted in his novels, plays and films. He founded his own film studio in Marseille in 1934. It closed in 1970.

He is the first filmmaker to have been inducted at the prestigious Académie Française, in 1946, though it was for his literary works.

His novels and plays include:

  • The "Marseille Trilogy" plays (and films, which he wrote as well)
    • Marius (1927 for the play, 1931 for the film)
    • Fanny (1931 for the play, 1932 for the film)
    • César (1936 for the film, 1946 for the play)
  • The "Souvenirs d'enfance" ("Childhood memories") cycle, his autobiography
    • La Gloire de mon père ("My father's Glory", 1957)
    • Le Château de ma mère ("My mother's Castle", 1957)
    • Le Temps des secrets ("The Time of secrets", 1960)
    • Le Temps des amours ("The Time of love", 1977)
  • The "L'Eau des collines" ("Water of the hills") cycle
    • Jean de Florette (1963)
    • Manon des sources (1963)

His filmography includes:

  • Marseille Trilogy:
    • Marius (1931)
    • Fanny (1932)
    • César (1936)
  • Jofroi (1934)
  • Angèle (1934)
  • Merlusse (1935)
  • Cigalon (1935)
  • Topaze (1936, first version)
  • Harvest (1937)
  • Heartbeat (1938)
  • The Baker's Wife (1938)
  • The Well Digger's Daughter (1940)
  • Monsieur Brotonneau (1939)
  • Prayer to the Stars (1941, unfinished)
  • Naïs (1945)
  • The Pretty Miller Girl (1949, his first film in colour)
  • The Ways of Love (1950)
  • The Prize (1950)
  • Topaze (1951, Self-Remake)
  • Manon des Sources (1952)
  • Letters from My Windmill (1954)

Adaptations of his works not made by him include:

Tropes & Trivia in his works:

  • The Film of the Play: Not counting adaptations in which he wasn't involved at all, he wrote himself the scripts for 1931's Marius and 1932's Fanny, which adapted the plays of the same name and are very often mentioned in the same breath as said plays, if they don't outright invokedovershadow the plays.
  • Kids Are Cruel: In La Gloire de mon père (the first book of his autobiography), Pagnol says "I think that man is cruel by nature. Children prove it everyday."
  • invokedProduction Posse: Actors Jules Muraire aka "Raimu" and Fernandel, who were both native from Provence and had strong accents from there, were regulars of Pagnol's films. He was friends with Raimu, besides.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: César capped off the "Marseille Trilogy" as a film first, in 1936, whereas Marius and Fanny started off as stage plays before being adapted on film. Pagnol adapted César for the stage in 1946.
  • Unwise Owl: Invoked in Le Château de ma mère. When hunting, a teenager Marcel witnesses a owl trying to escape from a trap, and doesn't feel the bird is particularly intelligent. The narration then digresses to mention he later heard in a school lesson that owls symbolise wisdom, and this sentence combined with the memory of his actual encounter with the owl makes him unable to stop laughing.