It is almost noon. Cicadas are crackling in the dry air. We start looking forward to pastis time. This is how people make films in Provence. You need to know all this to understand what gives life to Pagnol's films. Not only does the genuineness of his films ring true, but so does this very fellow feeling, this communion.Pierre LeprohonJournalist, on the shoot of Manon des Sources ("Manon of the Spring")
I remember the shoot of César, third part of the trilogy, in a very different way. Pagnol had turned the corner: he was the one in charge. His outstanding subsequent success in filmmaking and the skills he immediately acquired in all his branches are well known.Pierre FresnayActor
Most certainly, Pagnol's methods are like no other. Not only is he his own scriptwriter, dialogue writer and director, working for his own company and on his own land, but the films he shoots are also pure works, as handcrafted objects shaped by his hands, with his comrades. Marcel Pagnol here crafts a rake and there moves the miller's table... There is no hierarchy in this world, no separate skills; work is a joint venture... Pierre LeprohonJournalist, on the shoot of Manon des Sources ("Manon of the Spring").
People thought of him as a bedroom farce author, as a regionalist author when he was a great man, a great writer and a great playwright.Jean DutourdFrom the Académie Française, writer
Pagnol is Marseille's poet, far more than is Marius, Panisse or even César. He is Marseille.Marcel AchardFrom the Académie Française, playwright
One of the most amazing sides to Marcel Pagnol is that, very often, talented people are not very pleasant to keep company with, as if their talent was some sort of prickly armor. He was just the opposite. He was extremely kind and I found this side of his personality particularly touching. It could be described in vernacular words: he would say just like you. He would agree and encourage you, probably thinking, in his great wisdom, that you would soon realize by yourself that it was unachievable.Jean DutourdFrom the Académie Française, writer
Pagnol would spend hours in the sound truck. He was mainly interested in hearing the text uttered during the shoot, listening to see if the actors were speaking true, feeling the impact of a cue. So, I was on set and would say: "Action! Cut!" And, as soon as the shot was done, he would come out of the truck to correct the actors' performing.Suzanne de TroyeMarcel Pagnol and Jean Renoir's film editor.
Marcel is more demanding with his wife than with any other actor or actress. When we were making Manon, sometimes he would get me out of bed at five in the morning to make some retakes!Jacqueline PagnolMarcel Pagnol's wife
The text, outwardly so easy and smooth, is actually so rigorously, soundly and logically written that you learn it almost automatically and that nothing more is to be added.Robert VattierActor
Texts by the son of the schoolmaster from Marseille are now used for dictation exercises, and extracts from La gloire de mon père ("My Father's Glory") are prominent in French grammar books. No victory is nobler for compulsory and secular education than such a round-trip from the local primary school to the Académie and from the Académie back to primary school.Pierre TcherniaJournalist and film director.
The most striking thing in Pagnol is not his voice, marvelous but too easy to mimic, but the look in his eyes. It is double: one eye is always shining roguishly, the other is rather sad. Yet, the one that shines is unsure while the one that is sad is bright with strength. Delightful. All in all, he does not look like a Parisian at all. He looks like a roman senator who has read Dickens.Bernard de FalloisPostface to "Le temps des amours" ("The Time of Love")
When I agreed to play in Angèle, I said to myself: "In this film, if you do not move the audience, you are in for playing vaudevilles for the rest of your life."FernandelActor
We would shoot Le Schpountz in the afternoon and Regain ("Harvest") in the morning as landscape and actors were the same in both films. That took some doing, playing two characters in one day. I would never have agreed to do that with anyone else but Pagnol.FernandelActor
We would start shooting when Pagnol felt like starting or when all bowls games had been satisfactorily settled. And we worked all the same.Pierre FresnayActor
Whatever you do, never work with a view to achieving the masterpiece: this is the best road to failure... Your misfortune is that you are too much of a scholar... When you feel like writing, do write: the readers will tell you what you are worth...Vincent Scotto à Marcel PagnolComposer of his film soundtracks and of hundreds of successful songs in interwar years.
I particularly remember my last day on the shoot of César. There was a very long tracking scene to be shot on the Prado avenue, amidst an unbearable racket of cars, tramways, etc., well, enough to have any director run away! But Pagnol just shot his tracking in this noisy environment, and the scene was later shown on screen exactly as it had been shot. Pierre FresnayActor
"Jofroi", the first neorealist film.Vittorio de SicaFilm director
We would go out of school together, holding hands, and he would walk me home and I would walk him home, and we would talk endlessly, laugh and love each other, and one day I blessed him in the Jewish manner; a solemn Jewish child blessing his Christian brother.Albert CohenWriter
He liked words and always carefully chose the right phrase. One day, before starting the interview, the sound engineer was bustling about, rushing all over the place. He explained: "It is tragic, I have lost my microphone!" Pagnol corrected: "It is not tragic, Sir, it is embarrassing."Pierre TcherniaJournalist and film director
I am listening to you, Marcel, go on. I know that you're lying, but I love it.Alida RouffeActress