"In Marseille, I am still a child; in Paris, I am an old man..." Marcel Pagnol
Marcel Pagnol was born in Aubagne, on 16 cours Barthélémy, a few kilometers away from Marseille where he soon moved in to live with his parents.
He spent his whole childhood and adolescence there, where he studied in Thiers high school.
During holiday time, his father would rent, with his uncle Jules, a house in the hills, the famous "Bastide Neuve" ("New Country House") up the small village of La Treille. Marcel remained a child of Marseille through and through.
Appointed as a teacher in Paris a few years later, he wrote his first successful plays. Feeling "exiled" in the capital city, he regained and described Marseille in "MARIUS". Marcel Pagnol lived in Paris on a regular basis. However, cinema was to drive him back to Southern France and his "beloved hills". As early as the 30's, he created in Marseille his laboratories and later his film studios.
In 1941, wishing to create a local Cinema City ("Cité du Cinéma"), he purchased the Château de la Buzine in which he recognized the "dreadful castle" he would later describe in the second volume of his "Souvenirs d'enfance" ("Memories of Childhood"), "Le Château de ma mère" ("My Mother's Castle").
He also bought the domaine de l'Etoile, in La Gaude, near Cagnes, and engaged in 1941 in "intensive carnation growing", thereby enabling the technicians working in his studios, which had been sold out to Gaumont, to override the STO (Service de Travail Obligatoire - Compulsory Employment Service). Later on, he would spend most of his holiday time there with his family.
When the war was over, he withdrew for some time in his property in the Sarthe region, the Ignières mill, which he sold by the end of the fifties. In order to shoot "La Belle Meunière", starring Jacqueline Pagnol and Tino Rossi, Pagnol acquired an old mill in "La Colle-sur-Loup", in the countryside inland from Nice. As early as 1926, Marcel felt a deep attachment to Monaco. In 1951, he decided to move in Monte-Carlo, close to his friend Prince Rainier. He bought "La Lestra", an outstanding 19th Century house located near the bay. Marcel, Jacqueline, Frédéric and Estelle lived happily in this house until the beginning of 1954. "It is the most beautiful time of our lives", wrote Pagnol. Later, called back by the Académie, Pagnol returned to Paris and opened offices on rue Fortuny.
At that time he lived on rue Jean Goujon, then rapidly purchased a town house on the Avenue Foch square. There he remained with Jacqueline until the end of his life.