In the 1930s, Marcel Pagnol, a leading light of the Paris theater, set out for new horizons as a filmmaker in his native Provence. His early masterpieces Marius, Fanny, and César mix theatrical stagecraft with realistic location photography to create an epic love story from the fabric of everyday life. Gruff, sentimental César (music-hall star Raimu) owns a waterfront bar in the Old Port of Marseille where his son, Marius (Pierre Fresnay), wipes down tables and dreams of a life at sea. The prosperous, middle-aged sailmaker Panisse (Fernand Charpin) wants to wed Marius’s sweetheart, Fanny (Orane Demazis), setting up a fateful romantic triangle whose story unfolds across a generation in the films of The Marseille Trilogy, which first earned Pagnol his place in cinema history. “If Pagnol is not the greatest auteur of the sound film,” critic André Bazin wrote, “he is in any case something akin to its genius.”
Collector’s Set Includes
Alexander Korda - 1931
Adapting his hit play Marius for the screen two years after its stage premiere, Marcel Pagnol turned his inimitable creative energies to the new medium of sound cinema in a felicitous collaboration with the Hungarian-born director Alexander Korda.
Marc Allégret - 1932
The delicate romanticism of The Marseille Trilogy’s opening encounters harsh reality in this installment, which picks up moments after Marius has left his would-be wife, Fanny, for a sailor’s existence.
Marcel Pagnol - 1936
In the final chapter of The Marseille Trilogy, Marcel Pagnol returns his compassionate gaze to his weathered characters as they discover the possibility of reconciliation and the durability of love.
New 4K digital restorations of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
New introduction by filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier
New interview with Nicolas Pagnol, grandson of writer-director Marcel Pagnol
Segments from Marcel Pagnol: Morceaux choisis, a 1973 documentary series on Pagnol’s life and work
Marseille, a short 1935 documentary about the Marseille harbor produced by Pagnol
Archival interviews with actors Orane Demazis, Pierre Fresnay, and Robert Vattier
Pagnol’s Poetic Realism, a new video essay by scholar Brett Bowles
French television clip from 2015 about the restoration of the trilogy
Theatrical rerelease trailer
New English subtitle translations
PLUS: An essay by film critic Michael Atkinson and excerpts from Pagnol’s introductions to his plays and screenplays
AUDIO: Uncompressed Monaural PCM
RUN TIME: 395 Minutes