Naïs (1945)

In 'NAÏS', Toine - our Fernandel - is wearing a hump like Quasimodo.

Adaptation by Marcel Pagnol of a short story by Émile Zola: 'Naïs Micoulin'.
Adaptation by Marcel Pagnol of a short story by Émile Zola: 'Naïs Micoulin'.
Naïs, Micoulin (Henri Poupon): “Remind him well that he is an only son… Your ONLY son!”


Naïs, a young Provençal peasant girl, loves Frédéric, the debauched son of her father’s bosses. She becomes his “vacation mistress”. Toine the hunchback surprises them, but, for love of Naïs, he becomes their accomplice. Micoulin, the girl’s father, does everything in his power to avenge her honor…

“In “NAÏS”, Toine – our Fernandel – has a Quasimodo-like hump. Marcel Pagnol, attributing such an attribute to Lauzun, fascinates us by telling us the story of this noble seducer who ends up marrying the Grande Mademoiselle. In Cassis, on his way back to the hotel, Fernand is pensive.

Suddenly he recalls: “Although not very rich, I had a very happy childhood. In class, I was always ready to laugh, and the vacations at my grandmother’s were paradise. But one day, this woman, who adored me, had to pay the price of an ice-cream cabinet. And it was there, in front of that big mirror, that I made a discovery…

I myself was not as beautiful as my lovely grandmother kept telling me; I was not hunchbacked…that, no. But more beautiful than me, yes, there were some. Only, it was she who saw me through her love. At the beginning of the school year, my friends celebrated me, as always. They liked me, too… and I amused them, as always. I think it was then that I understood that one of the secrets of happiness is to give joy… “

A little later, Marcel made this reflection: “Why do we often make Fernand into a ridiculous or pathetic person whom we make fun of? The next day, when he offered Toine the moving song of the little humpbacks, which Fernand played with a sob, he was asking him, in short, for a little forgiveness… “

Martine Mouneyres (Writer)

Technical data

  • Genre: Drama
  • Duration: 1h58
  • Director: Raymond Leboursier
  • Supervision, script and dialogues: Marcel Pagnol, based on a short story by Emile Zola
  • Pictures: Ch. Suin and W.Wottitz
  • Set design : R. Giordani
  • Studios: Marseille
  • Outside: Cassis
  • Editing: Jeannette Rongier
  • Music: Vincent Scotto and H. Thomas
  • Producer: Société nouvelle des Films Marcel Pagnol


  • Fernandel: Toine
  • Jacqueline Bouvier: Naïs
  • Henri Poupon: Micoulin, his father
  • Raymond Pellegrin: Frédéric
  • Arius: Mr. Rostaing, his father
  • Germaine Kerjean: Her mother
  • Charles Blavette: The engineer

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