At the beginning of the sound era, playwright Marcel Pagnol turned to cinema by adapting his trilogy of acclaimed plays set on the southern coast of France. An authentic celebration of the people and atmosphere of the Midi region, the “Marseille Trilogy” of movies - Marius, Fanny and César - broke with tradition by filming on location. Starting as screenwriter and eventually directing the final installment, Pagnol has left a profoundly moving and humanistic legacy with these deeply involving films. His cast is magnificent, notably Pierre Fresnay as Marius; Orane Demazis as Fanny; Charpin as Panisse; and, as César, Raimu, called the greatest actor who ever lived” by Orson Welles. Each part of the trilogy will be presented in a new 4K restoration.

  • Thu., Jun. 22 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In the warm, funny and beautifully acted first of three movies based on Marcel Pagnol’s trilogy of plays, Marius (Fresnay) dreams of leaving Marseille where he works in the Bar de la Marine, owned by his father, César (Raimu). For a time, Marius’ wanderlust is kept in check by his love for Fanny (Demazis), who wants to marry Marius, but, ultimately, a sacrifice will be made.

  • Thu., Jun. 29 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Fanny, left alone and pregnant with Marius’ child, agrees to marry the sailmaker Panisse (Charpin). When Marius returns from his travels, he is upset that Fanny has not waited for him, and Marius’ father César decides to talk sense to his son. Filled with emotional, life-affirming moments, this second part of Marcel Pagnol’s trilogy was a particular influence on Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

  • Thu., Jul. 6 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Pagnol himself directed the final part of this movie trilogy adapted from his plays. The story, set 18 years after Fanny, follows Césariot (André Fouchét) as he searches for his biological father, Marius. Provided with guidance and support by his loving grandfather César, Césariot seeks to learn if Marius has become involved with criminals, as César believes. Filled with numerous emotional unions and reunions, César is a superb example of humanistic cinema and one of the most moving of all films from its era.