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Overview for Marcel Pagnol
Marcel Pagnol

Marcel Pagnol


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Also Known As: Died: April 18, 1974
Born: February 28, 1895 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: France Profession: Writer ...


"Pagnol does not use accent as a picturesque accessory, a mere touch of local color; it is of the same essence as the text, and therefore, as the characters . . . The accent is the realism, the very basis of their language. So Pagnol's cinema is the contrary of theatrical; it belongs through words to the realistic specificity of film . . . Pagnol is not a playwright who has been converted to cinema, but one of the greatest authors of TALKING films." --Andre Bazin

"[Pagnol discovered] that what happened during a shot was just as important as the relationship between the shots. That mise en scene was first and foremost the choice and direction of actors--they were the true raw material of cinema." --Richard Roud (quoted in press release material for Yves Robert's films "My Father's Glory" and "My Mother's Castle", released 1990)

Some critics such as Roud consider Pagnol's "Angele" (1934) the first "neo-realist" film. Director Yves Robert claims that Roberto Rossellini used to describe Pagnol as the "real inventor of neo-realism".

Besides the two versions of "Topaze" Pagnol himself directed and the two versions mentioned in "Milestones", the play has been filmed in Egypt ("Yacout Effendi" 1933, directed by Nagib El-Rihani), in China ("Huaxin" 1939, directed by Li Pingqian), in England ("Mr. Topaze" 1961, starring and directed by Peter Sellers) and as a television production in 1956. "Marius" and "Fanny" have likewise been filmed in several countries.

Over twenty years after his highly successful musical adaptation of Pagnol's Marseilles trilogy, David Merrick attempted something similar with a musical version of "The Baker's Wife", starring Topol and Patti LuPone, but it closed on the road before opening in New York.

Pagnol also translated Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Virgil's "Bucolics" into French.

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