This last of Marcel Pagnol’s trilogy which started with Marius and continued with Fanny could be cut by almost half without damaging it to any extent.
Marius bathed in Marseilles sunshine. In Fanny the mistakes of impetuous youth are straightened, but not without sufferings and self-sacrifices. With Cesar we are faced with grown-ups who bear the scars of the lessons they have learned. Pathos caused by exasperated desires not to be frustrated have replaced the youthful recklessness of Marius and the noble self-sacrificing ideals of Fanny.
Twenty years after he married Fanny (Orane Demazis) and adopted her love child, after she had been abandoned by Marius (Pierre Fresnay), Panisse (Charpin) dies. Fanny has promised the priest who attended Panisse on his death-bed to tell the entire truth to her son who believes Panisse is his real father.
Young man (Andre Fouche) is at first crushed by the revelation, led to believe that Marius, his father, is nothing but a scoundrel. Marius finally comes to Marseilles. In a stormy family explanation all of the dirty linen is washed clean.
Entire story unrolls in endless dialog, which is rendered with tremendous force and emotion by Raimu as Cesar, the father of Fresnay, Demazis and Fouche. Fouche, although handicapped by the presence of veterans of the stage, shows surprising abilities.