Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Marius (1931)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Marius (1931, Fr.)

In director Alexander Korda's romantic comedy, characterized by the authentic-sounding vernacular dialect and rolling Southern France accents, with a story adapted from Marcel Pagnol's 1929 stage play; it was noted as the first installment of Marcel Pagnol's Fanny (or Marseille) trilogy (followed by Fanny (1932) and Cesar (1936)):

  • the title character: restless and unfulfilled 22 year-old Marius (Pierre Fresnay) living in the port city of Marseille, helping his doting and overbearing widowed father - bar owner Cesar Olivier (Raimu); Marius had two conflicting loves:
    (1) a troubled romance with 18 year-old childhood sweetheart Fanny (Orane Demazi, scriptwriter Pagnol's wife), the daughter of the local widowed fishmonger Honorine Cabanis (Alida Rouffe), who ran a shellfish (cockles) concession, and
    (2) Marius' adventurous and yearning desire to travel and sail away ("a madness for the sea") from his provincial community
  • Marius' jealous dilemma when Fanny announced that she would marry the 50 year-old recently-widowed Honoré Panisse (Fernand Charpin), a lonely yet prosperous, local sailmaker
  • the comic bridge card-game sequence (full of obvious cheating, for instance: "You break my heart!"), starting with four card players, including Cesar and cuckolding ferryboat captain Félix Escartefigue (Paul Dullac), with the famous accusatory quotes: "You'd treat an old school chum like a cheat?...If friends can't cheat, why bother to play?", and "The French Navy tells you to go to hell"
  • in the highly-dramatic ending, the self-sacrificing Fanny, who had become engaged to Marius but realized that he was unhappy, encouraged him to leave on a ship for an extended expedition, and then distracted his father while the sailing vessel was departing from the Marseille harbor
Marius' Departure From Fanny

Marius' Romance with Fanny

Marius with Father-Bar Owner Cesar Olivier

Bridge Card-Game


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