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Directed by Alexander Korda • 1931 • France
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 be a leading light of British filmmaking. 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 predict.