"In "NAÏS", Toine – our Fernandel – is decked out in a Quasimodo-like hump. Marcel Pagnol, ascribing such a privilege to Lauzun, tells us the fascinating story of the noble seducer who eventually married "la Grande Mademoiselle". In Cassis, on our way back to the hotel, Fernand is lost in thought.
Suddenly, he recalls: "Although not very rich, my childhood was a very happy one. At school, I was always up for a laugh, and holidays at my grandmother's were heaven on earth. But; one day, that woman who adored me bought a wardrobe with a mirror. And this is where, in front of this large mirror, I discovered something... myself. I was not as handsome as my lovely grandmother kept telling me; I was not a humpback... certainly not. But certainly a number of boys were more good-looking than I was. The only thing was that she would see me through her love for me. Back to school, my friends gave me a warm welcome, as always. They liked me as well... and I amused them, as always. I think that's when I understood that one of the secrets of happiness is to give joy..."
Later, Marcel asked the following: "Why do people often turn Fernand into somebody ridiculous and pathetic people will laugh at? " On the following day, when he offered Toine the moving song about small humpbacks, which Fernand sang with a sob, it was in fact like he was apologizing to him..."
Martine Mouneyres. (Continuity girl)
Producer: Société Nouvelle des Films Marcel Pagnol.
Supervision, script and dialogues: Marcel Pagnol after a short story by Emile Zola.
Direction: Raymond Leboursier.
Visuals: Ch. Suin and W. Wottitz.
Set: R. Giordani.
Editing: Jeannette Rongier.
Music: Vincent Scotto and H. Thomas.
First public screening: November 1945.
Running time: 1h58.
Fernandel - Toine Jacqueline Bouvier - Naïs Henri Poupon - Micoulin, son père Raymond Pellegrin - Frédéric Arius - M. Rostaing, son père Germaine Kerjean - Sa mère Charles Blavette - L'ingénieur
Naïs, a young peasant from Provence, loves Frédéric, the debauched son of her father's employers. She becomes his "holiday mistress". Humpback Toine discovers their secret but, out of his love for Naïs, becomes their accomplice. Micoulin, the young woman's father, takes all possible steps to avenge his honor...