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, soon to leave his mark on British cinema. Young Marius and Fanny begin to recognize that their lifelong friendship has blossomed into romance, but their hopes of marriage are left unrealized when Marius cannot overcome his longing to go to sea, against the wishes of his adoring father, César, but with Fanny’s selfless encouragement. Pagnol and Korda bring a keening lyricism to this tale of lovers torn between devotion and the restless urge for adventure, a conflict that begins to shape their destinies in ways they could never have predicted.

Film Info

  • France
  • 1931
  • 127 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.19:1
  • French
  • Spine #882

Available In

Collector's Set

The Marseille Trilogy

The Marseille Trilogy

Blu-ray Box Set

3 Discs


Collector's Set

The Marseille Trilogy

The Marseille Trilogy

DVD Box Set

4 Discs


César Ollivier
Pierre Fresnay
Marius Ollivier
Orane Demazis
Fanny Cabanis
Fernand Charpin
Honoré Panisse
Alida Rouffe
Honorine Cabanis
Paul Dullac
Félix Escartefigue
Alexandre Mihalesco
Robert Vattier
Monsieur Brun
Édouard Delmont
Le Goelec
Alexander Korda
Marcel Pagnol
Robert T. Kane
Ted Pahle
Roger Spiri-Mercanton
Set design
Vincent Korda
Set design
Alfred Junge


Almost a Love Story: Raimu and Marcel Pagnol
Almost a Love Story: Raimu and Marcel Pagnol

The great playwright and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol found an abiding muse in the great music-hall veteran Raimu, and the two created some of the most enduring works of early French cinema.

The Marseille Trilogy: Life Goes to the Movies
The Marseille Trilogy: Life Goes to the Movies

At the dawn of sound cinema, French theater titan Marcel Pagnol immortalized his epic vision of his native Provence in three exquisite humanist dramas.

By Michael Atkinson


The Kordas

Director, Production Designer

The Kordas
The Kordas

During sound cinema’s first full decade, the Hungarian-born Korda brothers—Alexander, Zoltán, and Vincent—built a British empire. The mastermind behind their legendary company, London Films Productions, was producer, director, writer, and eventual mega-mogul Alex; born Sándor Kellner, he became interested in the art of silent cinema as a teenager in his home country, writing criticism and even founding a movie magazine before finding success making his own films all over Europe. In the late twenties, following a short stint in Hollywood, Alex was sent to England to head up Paramount’s British Production Unit; in 1932, he established London Films and brought aboard his younger siblings, Zoltán as a writer/director and Vincent as a production designer. Their first big hit was The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), which earned Charles Laughton an Oscar and the Kordas international attention. The rest of the thirties held highs (The Rise of Catherine the Great, Elephant Boy) and lows (The Private Life of Don Juan) for the company. But its films—often about historical personalities (Rembrandt) or the exploits of the British Empire abroad (Sanders of the River, The Four Feathers)—remain exemplars of a grand period of British cinema. In the forties, the Kordas only grew in stature—due not only to such immensely popular titles as The Thief of Bagdad and That Hamilton Woman but also to the selection of Alexander, the first film director to be so honored, for knighthood.