Made from a popular legit hit [by Marcel Pagnol], and acted by the same cast, the screen version is even better than the stage presentation. It shows the call of the sea acting on the son, Marius (Pierre Fresnay), of an innkeeper, Cesar (Raimu), whose sweetheart, Fanny (Orane Demazis), aids him to satisfy his craving for travel, despite that he has seduced her. It’s a very clever mixture of gags peculiar to the Marseilles locale, and of pathos created by the girl’s self-sacrifice.
Direction deliberately omits technical tricks. Continuity and dialog are both excellent, with camera work excellent and sound fair.
Due to the fact that the cast has done the show several hundred times, the acting is unique in French pictures for naturalness, and without exception is of the highest order. Raimu, veteran stage actor, is better on the screen, and so is Fresnay. Demazis, whose personal beauty is not the main asset, is entirely different on the screen, having tremendous personality and charm. She is the outstanding personality of the picture.
Cost of this picture is said to be about $80,000.
[Pic was followed by Fanny and Cesar, to form a trilogy.]