Pagnol and his friends
Marcel Pagnol was always surrounded by many friends. His charm, humor and intelligence seduced everyone.
“When everything was finished and he had gone to the little cemetery where he rests. For the public nothing had changed. But for us, his friends, it was a little different. We knew that we would no longer be able to phone at six o’clock in the evening to tell him that we were going to visit him, nor listen to him for hours. We thought of so many happy evenings, of his welcome, of that smile. The poignancy of “never again” embraced us and made around him a great silence. Bernard de Fallois.
In high school, he met the writer Albert Cohen who remained a faithful friend until the end. Marcel wrote love letters for him because Albert did not feel gifted for this exercise.
Friends writers, playwrights, artists
When he arrived in Paris, he entered the circle of playwrights. Marcel Achard, the future author of many successful plays, was his closest friend and they later met at theAcadémie Française. Louis Jouvet and Charles Dullin sponsored him in his early years.
Marcel Pagnol happily rubbed shoulders with Jean Anouilh, Jean Cocteau, Maurice Druon, Maurice Genevoix, André Chanson, André Maurois, Henri Jeanson, Steve Passeur, Jean Dutourd or Joseph Kessel.
He also had relations, sometimes tense, sometimes very friendly, with Jean Giono of whom he adapted several short stories for the screen. He also loved the plastic arts, and his friendship with Dubout or Dignimont lasted all their lives.
Friends of the film world
But, naturally, his most numerous friends were among the people of the cinema. They were, of course, Raimu and Fernandel, as well as the members of his film troupe: Robert Vattier, Edouard Delmont, Charles Blavette, Milly Mathis, Raymond Pellegrin, Henri Poupon, who appeared regularly in almost all of his films. They were also his musician friends: Vincent Scotto, who composed the music for many of his films, Arthur Rubinstein, Tony Aubin and Tino Rossi.
His technical collaborators: like the editor Suzanne de Troyes, the chief operator Willy Faktorovitch (to whom we owe the term “SCHPOUNTZ”), the set photographer Roger Corbeau, who started on the set of “THE LORD OF THE POUNTRY” and then had an admirable career with the greatest directors.
Marcel Pagnol maintained a long friendship with Jean Renoir, René Clair, Henri Georges Clouzot and Henri Verneuil (who shot “CARNAVAL” for him).
The producers Roger Richebé, Jean Leduc, then Alain Poiré supported him with friendship to edit the films as he wished. But his friends were also from many different backgrounds. Marcel Pagnol’s attachment to Monaco resulted in a faithful relationship with Prince Rainier until the last day.
The greatest journalists frequented the large salon on Avenue Foch: Pierre Lazareff, Gaston Bonheur and Raymond Castans. Finally, he met, during the shooting of “LETTRES DE MON MOULIN”, the superior of Frigolet Abbey, Norbert Calmels, who later became the Abbot General of the Premonstratensians in Rome, and remained his devoted friend, accompanying him until his last moments. For Marcel Pagnol, friends had an essential place. He was faithful to them and his generosity of feelings and kindness were never contested.
Pagnol seen by others
The talkative ones tell you about others, the boring ones tell you about themselves, but those who talk about you are brilliant talkers!Marcel Pagnol
Almost everything that has been said
This section includes Marcel Pagnol’s interviews, chapters dedicated to him in various books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, film history. It also includes albums, files, special issues, general articles on Marcel Pagnol, references and some documentary films dedicated to him.
They say of him
His friends, relatives, collaborators, technicians, actors and comedians talk about Marcel Pagnol, the man, the author, the faithful friend, sometimes with humor and complicity, often with warmth and passion, always with tenderness.
Pagnol à l’international
The universal is reached by staying at home.Marcel Pagnol
Adaptations of plays and films
TOPAZE was first performed in Berlin, then in Paris. The play was then staged in Italy and in Copenhagen, Belgrade, Prague, Amsterdam, Budapest, Odessa, Moscow and Zagreb. A few years later, MARIUS was interpreted in Italy by the young Vittorio De Sica.
More recently, the Anglo-Saxons undertook to turn Marcel Pagnol’s works into musicals. It was FANNY, later brought to the screen, and then LA FEMME DU BOULANGER. Recently, an important project concerned JEAN DE FLORETTE and MANON DES SOURCES.
In recent years, THE TRILOGY has been performed in Japan and Israel, and adapted into Finnish and Dutch, to name but a few.
But one of Marcel Pagnol’s greatest emotions was to receive photographs taken during a performance in Germany, during the war, in a French prison camp . Naturally, all roles were played by men.
Books translated into over 30 languages
Marcel Pagnol’s books have been translated into at least thirty languages. All Eastern European countries were very fond of them, but also Germans and English. Further away, in the USA, the author of Childhood Memories has been compared to Mark Twain. Recently, Asia has discovered Marcel Pagnol. He is translated into Chinese, Japanese, Bengali, Vietnamese…
Latin America, Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, as well as Arab countries, welcome him. Moreover, extracts from his works are constantly included in books for the teaching of French abroad.
Cinema: adaptations abroad
As for the cinema, many adaptations of THE TRILOGY were written for foreign countries. MARIUS was filmed in 1931, at the same time in German (ZUM GOLDENER ANKER), Swedish (LÄNGTEN TILL HAVET) and French, all three versions directed by Alexander Korda. FANNY was made in Italy in 1933. In 1934, it was DER SCHWARZE WALFISH with Emil Jennings, in Germany. Then in 1938, in the USA, Wallace Beery played the role of Caesar in PORT OF THE SEVEN SEAS, an adaptation that mixed the plays MARIUS and FANNY. Finally, Josua Logan directed FANNY in 1961, with Maurice Chevalier as Panisse, Charles Boyer as Caesar, Leslie Caron as Fanny and Hortz Bucholz as Marius.
TOPAZE was made into a film many times. In 1933, David O. Selznik produced a version with John Barrymore. That same year it became YACOUT EFFENDI, in Egypt, then in 1939, HUAXIN, in China, and Mr. TOPAZE by/with Peter Sellers, in 1961.
More recently, in 1992, BRIKFENC, based on “PIROUETTES”, was brought to the screen in Hungary. However, there are almost constant talks to bring to the screen (big or small) a work by Marcel Pagnol. In particular, LA FEMME DU BOULANGER (Marylin Monroe’s name had been mentioned for a while) and MANON DES SOURCES.
As for Marcel Pagnol’s original films, they are constantly shown, especially in the United States, in the framework of universities and in the form of cassettes.
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