The Schpountz (1938)

"The Schpountz" is based on a true anecdote that occurred during the filming of the movie "Angèle" directed in 1934.

'The Schpountz', a film directed by Marcel Pagnol.
'The Schpountz', a film directed by Marcel Pagnol.
“The Tropical Anchovy”, introduction scene with Fernandel, Fernand Charpin, Odette Roger, and Jean Castan.


A young grocer’s clerk with a bit of a penchant for mythology, Irénée is convinced that he will become a famous actor. He meets a film crew that tells him a cruel joke. He arrives at the studios full of hope…

“Schpountz” means simple-minded. As we would say in Marseille: he is a “fada”, we can say: he is a “schpountz”…

“When you make people laugh on stage or on screen, you don’t lower yourself, on the contrary. Laughing at those who come back from the fields, with their big hands so hard that they can’t close them anymore, those who come out of the office with their little chests that don’t know the taste of air anymore, those who come back from the factory, with their heads down, their nails broken, with black oil in the cuts of their fingers…

To make all those who will die laugh, to make all those who have lost their mother, or who will lose her, laugh…

Laughter is not a kind of absurd and vulgar convulsion but a human thing that perhaps God has given to men to console them for being intelligent.”

Marcel Pagnol

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