The Fanny Trilogy
When Marcel Pagnol adapted his play Marius for the cinema in 1931, he was a relatively well-known young playwright who had recently left behind his modest Marseillais beginnings and a teaching career. By the time Cesar , the third part of the trilogy, came out in 1936 (and was the no. 1 box-office hit for that year), he had become one of the most popular filmmakers in France, was running parallel careers as novelist, journalist, and publisher, and had founded his own film production company. His "empire" was completed by the opening of his own cinema in Marseilles for the release of Cesar. For although Pagnol had to move to Paris to "make it", his roots remained in the south, and the trilogy is first of all a tribute to Marseilles and its people.

Critics at the time may have preferred the cinematically innovative work of Renoir or Gremillon, or the committed manifestos of the Popular Front, but audiences flocked to see Pagnol's films and in particular the trilogy. Constant repeats on French television show that time has done nothing to erode this tremendous popularity, and some of the trilogy's phrases have entered the national vocabulary ("tu me fends le coeur!"). Apart from a first-class cast, Pagnol's joky claim that "I only write about cliches" may give a clue to this lasting appeal and relevance: like all Pagnol's films, Marius, Fanny, and Cesar share a direct concern with simple but basic psychological and social relations, and primarily the family.

Directors: Alexander Korda
Cast: Raimu, Pierre Fresnay, Fernand Charpin, Orane Demazis
Country: France
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

In Marius (dir. Alexander Korda, 1931), the first installment of the trilogy, Pagnol introduces us to a close-knit group of characters in the Old Port of Marseilles: Cesar, the strong-headed bar owner; Marius, his restless son; Fanny, the fish-peddler with whom Marius falls in love; Honorine, Fanny's mother; Panisse, the pompous but kind-hearted owner of a sail shop; Escartefigue, the genial ferryboat captain and cuckold; and Mr. Brun, the Lyonnais. The basic conflict arises when both Panisse and Marius express romantic interest in Fanny. While Fanny is in love with Marius, the future of their relationship remains in doubt because of Marius' lifelong fascination with the sea and his ambition to become a sailor.

In Fanny (dir. Marc Allegret, 1932), Marius is already at sea when Fanny learns that she is pregnant. Although Panisse offers to marry her, she is torn because of her pregnancy out of wedlock. The widower Panisse, who has been longing for a child of his own, nonetheless agrees to marry her on the condition that the child be recognized solely as his. Cesar, on the other hand, wants the child to be recognized as the offspring of Marius. Matters are complicated when, several months later, Marius returns.

In Cesar (dir. Marcel Pagnol, 1936), we meet up again with the characters twenty years later. When Panisse dies, the son Cesariot -- now a young man -- discovers the truth about his real father, Marius, and decides seek him out. Fanny, in turn, must face up to her long-suppressed feelings for Marius and decide whether to resume their relationship.

The Fanny Trilogy - KINO Video
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4 x DVD | NTSC | 02:00:10 + 02:00:33 + 02:12:56 | 24.6 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English

Extras:
• "About the Trilogy" (2003), a 74-minute documentary about Marcel Pagnol's "Fanny Trilogy"
• Theatrical trailers for "Marius", "Fanny" and "Cesar"
• Audio Commentary by Marcel Pagnol for "Marius" (60 min), Fanny (18 min) and Cesar (10 min)
• Posters Gallery
• Still Gallery
• Gallery of Original Promotional Material
• A Marcel Pagnol Biography
• Filmographies

The Fanny Trilogy - Compagnie Mediterraneenne de Film
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3 x BD50 | 1080p AVC | 02:07:12 + 02:07:01 + 02:21:01 | 107 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English

Extras:
• Before-after restoration
• Trailers

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