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Marius – 1931 Alexander Korda
- Though Korda (Austrian/Hungarian director who is about to go to England after this and make a reasonably-sized splash) is behind the camera- this is Marcel Pagnol’s (his play, screenwriter) work. This is the first leg of the The Marseille Trilogy (Marius in 1931 directed by Korda, Fanny in 1932 directed by Marc Allégret and César in 1936 directed by Pagnol himself). The direction here is mostly point and shoot- a few nice dissolves as we get closer to the bar (main setting) in the port city of Marseille.
- 1.2 to 1 almost total box aspect ratio- different than the 1.37 : 1- used most often in Hollywood
- Has the comfort and familiarity of a sitcom—Marius (Pierre Fresnay- above) the son with his father César (Raimu—apparently like Madonna or Cher- only one name common in France at the time with actors), Honoré Panisse (played by Fernand Charpin) and Fanny (Orane Demazis- above)- all four are superb and in all three films of the trilogy.
- The playful comic routine (Raimu gets angry and rolls his eyes up to heaven to talk to God- very sitcom-y—this is a long time before sitcoms mind you) is great- “a very small one-third” and they fight and then stop to drink when the champagne accidently spills. The film does have an emotional romantic sweep and heft to it in the finale- sort of a “if you love her (or him in this case) let her go” that you see later in Casablanca
- A nice camera pan right to the lighthouse after the kiss at 74-minutes—at 94-minutes at lighthouse night to day edit
- Marius torn between the sea and Fanny
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 1931