New York Times - 06/26/1987
"...Exuberant, French Midi, melodramatic comedy....All of the performances, like the characters, are rich without being quaint..."
Los Angeles Times - 07/17/1987
"...Heavily satisfying....A tragicomedy of character and place, it is zestfully well acted by Gerard Depardieu, Yves Montand and an actor relatively new to us, Daniel Auteuil..."
The first of two parts of the classic Marcel Pagnol story set in southeast France in the mid 1920s. In a small provencal village, where water is scarce and the earth dry, only one piece of property possesses an underground spring to irrigate the soil--and the wily, greedy César (Yves Montand) will do anything to get hold of it. His dreams seem on the verge of coming true when the owner (with a little help from César) dies unexpectedly. But then Jean Cadoret (Gerard Depardieu), an outsider who inherits the farm, arrives with the intention of settling down and cultivating the land with his good-hearted wife Aimee (played by Depardieu's real wife, Elisabeth Depardieu) and young daughter Manon (Ernestine Mazurowna). Jean, a hunchback and sensitive dreamer, glories in his new life while César and his nephew Ugolin (Daniel Auteuil) secretly decide to stop up the spring so his plans will fail. The good-hearted Jean, too naive to imagine that anyone would sabotage him, struggles fruitlessly to make his garden bloom. His continual failure erodes his spirit, setting the stage for a tragedy with consequences for all. Director Claude Berri focuses a well-trained eye on the heart-stopping scenery of the rural provencal landscape in this beautifully filmed tragedy, establishing a farmer's reverence for his land and native soil. Gerard Depardieu delivers an unforgettable performance as the failed dreamer. Followed by Berri's MANON DES SOURCES (MANON OF THE SPRING).
Family Interaction |
Scams And Cons |
Tear Jerker |
JEAN DE FLORETTE was filmed at the same time as MANON DES SOURCES (Manon of the Spring), which continues the story. The sequel focuses on Jean's daughter Manon, who decides to take revenge on César.
The film's budget was about 120,000,000 francs, or $17,000,000, which made it the costliest film in French cinema history up to that point.
Color by Eastmancolor. Filmed in Technovision. Prints by Deluxe.
Additional cast: Bertino Benedetto (Guiseppe).
Additional credits: Michel Deruelle (makeup), Colette Suder (production administrator), and Marie-Christine Lafosse (casting).
Soundtrack available on Milan-Musicrama Records.
Film is subtitled in yellow for easy legibility.
Winner of four British Oscars, including Best Film. Nominated for 8 French Césars (the French equivalent of the Academy Awards).