"MERLUSSE", first screen play written by Marcel Pagnol and designed for screening, was shot during Christmas holidays in Thiers high school in Marseille, where the filmmaker had studied in the past. For this film, he chose children among the actual students of that school.

The film is a perfect illustration of the dispute over filmed plays:
"I take into account all possibilities offered to me by the filmmaking technology, but this will neither prevent me from building the action as strongly as I would for drama, nor from writing the dialogue the way I would do if it was set to be spoken on stage."
Marcel Pagnol.

Merlusse

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Production

Producer: Les Films Marcel Pagnol.
Script, dialogues and direction: Marcel Pagnol.
Visuals: Albert Assouad.
Location: Thiers high school in Marseille.
Sound: Jean Lecocq.
Music: Vincent Scotto.
Editing: Suzanne de Troye.
First public screening: Paris, December 1935.
Running time: 1h05.

Performers

Henri Poupon - Merlusse
André Pollack - Le proviseur
Thomeray - Le censeur
Rellys - L'appariteur
Jean Castan - Galubert
André Robert - Le surveillant général
Annie Toinon - Nathalie
A. Rossi - Le concierge
Fernand Bruno - Catusse
Le Van Kim - Macaque

Story

Christmas time! Only remain in the large high school a handful of kids without family: "orphans", "exiles" handed over to the most frightening, the most hated of all supervisors: Merlusse and his slashed face...