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Regain (1937)

Regain (1937)

Gabriel GabrioOrane DemazisFernandelMarguerite Moreno
Marcel Pagnol


Regain (1937) is a French movie. Marcel Pagnol has directed this movie. Gabriel Gabrio,Orane Demazis,Fernandel,Marguerite Moreno are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1937. Regain (1937) is considered one of the best Drama,Romance movie in India and around the world.

Regain (1937) Reviews

  • A French classic of the 30s


    In the 30s, a small village in the South of France (Provence) is losing its inhabitants (and so its life) because young people prefer to go to the city to find easy jobs and escape from being farmers living in relative poverty. Only a few old people and the poacher Panturle (Gabriel Gabrio) remain. Panturle dreams of bringing the village back to life, finding a wife, founding a family and work as a farmer. One day, the village is visited by a traveling knife-grinder, Urbain Gedemus (the famous French comedian Fernandel, playing for the first time a mean character) and a young (and beautiful) woman, Arsule (played by the wonderful Orane Demazis). Gedemus treats Arsule like a slave, but Arsule accept this because she has nowhere to go and -we guess- her 'work' with Gedemus is the last thing that saves her from being a prostitute. When she meets Panturle and knows about his dreams, she escapes from Gedemus and decides to stay with him. Together, they start a new life, made of hard farming work but mostly of happiness to have each other - fulfilling the earlier dreams of Panturle. Can anything break the happiness of their new life? Regain (which means renewed in French) is a wonderful movie by its simplicity and generosity. It glorifies modesty in life, the love for the land and honest work. As always in the work of Jean Giono (the writer of the novel on which the film is based), the story is a hymn to nature and ordinary people. The plot of the movie is reduced to its simplest form. It is the story of two people finding their right place on Earth and the right person to spend their life with. Marcel Pagnol shows that this simple story is enough to make a good movie. The whole movie is built on the theme of a counter-stream movement. Panturle and Arsule have chosen to go counter mainstream as they decide to stay in the village while all the people leave it to escape the relatively poor living conditions of the countryside. This film can also be viewed as the reverse of the legend of Adam and Eve, i.e. Adam and Eve being evicted from the Garden of Eden whereas Panturle and Arsule reach it. Even Fernandel is employed here counter to his usual type of role. However, such considerations are not important to appreciate the movie. This movie reminds us that Marcel Pagnol also was a Panturle in his own way. At a time when all movies (in France) were made in Paris studios by big companies, Marcel Pagnol was the first independent director of the talking movie era, founding his own studios in the south of France and controlling all the process of filmmaking (writing, producing and filming on location). For his style as a director, it has been said that he had inspired the Italian neo-realist movement. 'Regain' is one of the four novels by Jean Giono that Marcel Pagnol adapted for the cinema (the others being Jofroi, 1933; Angele, 1934; La femme du boulanger, 1938), most of these movies being classic French movies of the 30s. Wonderful. Highly recommended 10/10.

  • starts off slowly, but hold tight--it's well worth the wait!


    During the first 20 minutes of the movie, I was rather disappointed--I expected more interesting characters in a Marcel Pagnol story. However, as the film slowly unfolded, the not so interesting characters gave way to much more endearing ones. It's as if those you see in the beginning who you THINK are the leads are really just setting the stage for the REAL film to begin! The main plot involves a nice bachelor who lives in an almost totally deserted hillside town. He is lonely but has relied on himself so long he has all but given up hope on finding a mate. The only other resident, an old lady, promises to bring him someone soon. At this same time, we meet a very hapless woman who has been through hell. The two lonely people eventually meet and form an almost instant attachment that is just beautiful to watch. Seeing this kind but gruff older man fall for and cherish this lady is a joy to behold.

  • A rare improvement over the literary source


    Movie adaptations of novels usually leave one regretting things that had to be left out. This movie is an exception. It is, in my opinion, a real IMPROVEMENT on the literary source, Jean Giono's Regain. The novel is sort of like French Pearl Buck: strong silent types working the earth, simple folk with all the admirable qualities: hard work, honesty, etc. In principle, very good, but in Giono's handling, understated to the point of tedium, since his novel is very clichéd. Pagnol, aided by some very fine performers, especially the male lead, who is remarkable in this movie, brings a series of clichés to life. I couldn't sit through The Good Earth a second time, but this I could very definitely see again with pleasure.

  • Only the French


    Only a culture that attaches as much value to the art of communication as it does to imagery and form could produce directors like Renoir, Godard, Clouzot, Malle, Truffaut, etc. etc. (the list is long), who in turn rendered such towering, influential films as The Grand Illusion, Wages of Fear, Beauty and the Beast, etc. etc. (another very long list). Say what you like about the French, but the fact is, they love to listen as much as talk, and they have refined both to high art. This film's central character, a lonely hunter, is one of the least verbose Frenchmen you will ever encounter--there are few strong, silent types in France--but this simple trait (and Gabrio's effortless, natural performance) sets Panturle apart and makes him one of the most endearing protagonists in all cinema. Harvest is not a spectacular film; it functions like its protagonist, simple, sometimes foolish and comical, but always sincere and deliberate. Panturle's mind is slow, but his spirit is unstoppable, from the time he determines to set free the sad, despair-ridden Arsule and take her for his wife, through the difficult process of reinventing himself as a farmer, to his final test, which he confronts with conscience-clearing honesty and firm humility: paying off the clown Gedemus and sending him on his way. There is beauty here enough for ten films, all of which quietly revolves around Panturle and his few words. Pagnol (who named the dying mountain village after his native town) created a number of masterpieces. Harvest is the Panturle of his films: simple, unassuming, truthful, loyal, and the heart of the ouevre. NOTE: This film is fading from memory. It is in desperate need of restoration. Anyone...?

  • Restored to its pristine clarity and monochromatic sheen, Pagnol's HARVEST ought to give any new audience a jolting idea of where lies the high water mark of 'cinéma de papa'


    The term "cinéma de papa" naturally elicits a derogative whiff that retroactively applied to the vast output of pre-Nouvelle Vague French cinema, Marcel Pagnol's HARVEST could reinstate its good name for its grand integrating subjective realism into its honest-to-goodness, down-home simplicity of a sophisticated ode to the land, peasantry, and humanity itself. Based on Jean Giono's 1930 novel SECOND HARVEST, the film's mythos revolves around a forsaken village Aubignane, inhabited solely by middle-aged bachelor hunter Panturle (Gabrio) after the departure of the senile Monsieur Gaubert (Delmont, 54 years old at then, a master of mimicking geriatric comportment), the blacksmith who moves in with his son Jasmin (Blavette) in the town, and aunt Mamèche (Moreno), who promises to find Panturle a wife and then vanishes the next day. Meanwhile, a peripatetic knife-sharpener Urbain Gédémus (Fernandel), rescues a damsel-in-distress Arsule (Demazis), but treats her badly as an abject helping hand. When they trundle about the purlieus of Aubignane, Arsule is startled by a mysterious hopping, black-clad figure, whom Gédémus dismisses as the figment of her paranoia. One night, they rescue an accidentally drowning Panturle who trails them and is besotted with Arsule, who, eventually elopes with him without notifying Gédémus. Soon the pair realizes the black figure is actually Mamèche, acting like a divine magnet bringing Arsule to the rough diamond Panturle, who is in desperate need of a woman's ministration and tenacity to revitalize Aubignane. Borrowing wheat seeds from his friend, Panturle toils in the field while Arsule presides over domestic chores and arrangement, soon they reap what they sow, their first harvest comes to fruition and life starts to prosper. When Gédémus chances upon Arsule in the town, he and Panturle have a bargain to make, each respectively equipped with street-smart and cracker-barrel sagacity, the final outcome is a win-win situation (albeit Magnol's dextrous teasing of a sharp knife changing hands between the two men) and a second harvest for Aubignane is foreseeable near the end when Jasmin decides to move back to take care of the land after his father's demise and Arsule shares the joy of pregnancy with Panturle. Perfervidly compassionate towards his rural characters, Pagnol's literacy of limning a pastoral landscape has no boundaries, the awe-struck reconstruction work of its location far outstrips the Hollywood's stock-of-trade artificiality of its time. Occasionally archly jumpy (during Gédémus and Arsule's several bivouacking nights), the film's tenor sustains on a fetching level of genuine bonhomie and unassuming jocularity. Fernandel is smack in his elements with his long-winded chirpiness, not without a knowing trace of cunningness in its dulcet cadence, whereas Gabriel Gabrio and Orane Demazis, both effuse unaffected modesty and down-to-earth earnestness for audience to root for their hard-earned happiness. Restored to its pristine clarity and monochromatic sheen, HARVEST ought to give any new audience a jolting idea of where lies the high water mark of "cinéma de papa".


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