Fanny (1961)

133 mins | Comedy-drama | 28 June 1961

Director:

Joshua Logan

Producer:

Joshua Logan

Cinematographer:

Jack Cardiff

Production Designer:

Rino Mondellini

Production Company:

Mansfield Productions
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HISTORY

Although uncredited, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film Port of Seven Seas (1938, see entry) written by Preston Sturges, was also a source for this picture, with some scenes and dialogue directly repeated in Fanny. Both were based on Marcel Pagnol’s 1931 play, Fanny, part of the writer’s “Marseille trilogy” along with Marius (Paris, 9 Mar 1929) and César (production date undetermined). Pagnol's trilogy had previously been made as films in France: 1931’s Marius, 1932’s Fanny, and 1936’s César.
       Joshua Logan co-wrote, produced, and directed a musical adaptation of Fanny that premiered at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway on 4 Nov 1954. The idea for the musical had been suggested by producer David Merrick, according to a 2 Jul 1961 NYT article written by Logan, who admitted to feeling less than satisfied when the musical ended its run since he had wanted to tell more of Pagnol’s story. Warner Bros. Pictures began negotiating for screen rights to the Broadway musical in summer 1957. An item in the 19 Jun 1957 Var listed the “asking price” for the property as $500,000 and ten-percent of gross profits. However, Warner Bros. ultimately paid around $200,000 for the rights, as noted in the 18 May 1960 NYT. After the musical rights were cleared, Warner Bros. sought permission from Pagnol, whose cooperation was announced in a 12 Aug 1958 LAT brief. Over $50,000 was reportedly spent “to clear the complicated motion picture franchises.” Logan set out to make the film adaptation with screenwriter Julius J. Epstein. A previous screen adaptation ... More Less

Although uncredited, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film Port of Seven Seas (1938, see entry) written by Preston Sturges, was also a source for this picture, with some scenes and dialogue directly repeated in Fanny. Both were based on Marcel Pagnol’s 1931 play, Fanny, part of the writer’s “Marseille trilogy” along with Marius (Paris, 9 Mar 1929) and César (production date undetermined). Pagnol's trilogy had previously been made as films in France: 1931’s Marius, 1932’s Fanny, and 1936’s César.
       Joshua Logan co-wrote, produced, and directed a musical adaptation of Fanny that premiered at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway on 4 Nov 1954. The idea for the musical had been suggested by producer David Merrick, according to a 2 Jul 1961 NYT article written by Logan, who admitted to feeling less than satisfied when the musical ended its run since he had wanted to tell more of Pagnol’s story. Warner Bros. Pictures began negotiating for screen rights to the Broadway musical in summer 1957. An item in the 19 Jun 1957 Var listed the “asking price” for the property as $500,000 and ten-percent of gross profits. However, Warner Bros. ultimately paid around $200,000 for the rights, as noted in the 18 May 1960 NYT. After the musical rights were cleared, Warner Bros. sought permission from Pagnol, whose cooperation was announced in a 12 Aug 1958 LAT brief. Over $50,000 was reportedly spent “to clear the complicated motion picture franchises.” Logan set out to make the film adaptation with screenwriter Julius J. Epstein. A previous screen adaptation had been written by Robert Wyler.
       Actor Maurice Chevalier lobbied for the role of “Panisse,” and was cast despite Logan’s initial misgivings that the veteran actor was unfit for “a role with no sex appeal,” as stated in the 2 Jul 1961 NYT. Audrey Hepburn was sought to play “Fanny”; despite her interest, she was ultimately unable to take part due to pregnancy. The 30 Jan 1960 LAT claimed that Chevalier suggested Pier Angeli for the role, for which Brigitte Bardot was also considered. After determining that Bardot’s English was “too precarious,” Logan decided on Leslie Caron, who was said to be initially skeptical before the part was re-written for her. Alain Delon was named in an 8 Jul 1959 DV item as the actor who would play “Marius,” but he did not remain with the project. Likewise, the 8 May 1959 LAT listed Fredric March as a cast member, but March did not appear in the final film.
       A production chart in the 25 May 1960 Var announced the start of principal photography on 16 May 1960 in Marseille, France, where locations included the Château d'If and Notre-Dame de la Garde. Production also took place in Paris, France. The 18 May 1960 NYT stated that shooting was being done in Cinemascope.
       On 21 Sep 1960, Var indicated that filming was recently completed. Editing took place in New York City, according to the 3 Nov 1960 DV. A longer, “roadshow” version, which would include an intermission, was under consideration. However, Logan was quoted in the 28 Sep 1960 Var as saying, “It’s a several-million-dollar project, and it’s worth jettisoning some footage if cutting is going to help the finished project.” The running time was eventually reduced from over three hours to 133 minutes, and the picture was shown without an intermission. Scenes that were edited out included a singing number by Chevalier—the only one of three musical sequences included in the original script that was actually shot, as noted in the 28 Jun 1961 Var-- and a scene between Chevalier and Leslie Caron’s three-year-old son, Christopher Hall, according to a 21 May 1961 LAT brief.
       Fanny was named “Picture of the Month” in the Jun 1961 issue of Seventeen magazine. On 28 Jun 1961, it opened in Los Angeles, CA, to positive reviews. The film garnered Academy Award nominations for Best Picture; Actor (Charles Boyer); Cinematography; Film Editing; Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture). Golden Globe Award nominations included Best Motion Picture – Drama; Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Leslie Caron); Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Maurice Chevalier); and Best Original Score – Motion Picture.
       Following several months in release, the 12 Oct 1961 NYT announced that Warner Bros. had yielded to a group of theater owners who, upon deciding the film was inappropriate for children, had refused to play it as a matinee. Warner Bros. initially demanded to be paid for the matinee showings even if Fanny was not the film onscreen, but the exhibitors organized and won renegotiated contracts with the studio.
       Parisian dancer Monique Just was named as a cast member in the 23 May 1960 LAT. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Jul 1959
p. 2.
Daily Variety
4 Apr 1960
p. 7.
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1960
p. 2.
Daily Variety
23 May 1961
p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
12 Aug 1958
Section C, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
8 May 1959
Section A, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
5 Nov 1959
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jan 1960
Section C, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jan 1960
Section A, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
23 May 1960
Section C, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
21 Aug 1960
Section E, p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
23 Apr 1961
Section L, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
21 May 1961
Section B, p. 1, 8.
Los Angeles Times
25 Jun 1961
Section B, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
28 Jun 1961
Section C, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jun 1961
Section C, p. 7.
New York Times
10 Oct 1959.
---
New York Times
18 May 1960.
---
New York Times
2 Jul 1961.
---
New York Times
7 Jul 1961.
---
New York Times
12 Oct 1961.
---
Seventeen
Jun 1961.
---
Variety
19 Jun 1957
p. 22.
Variety
18 Sep 1957
p. 11.
Variety
28 Oct 1959
p. 20.
Variety
25 May 1960.
---
Variety
21 Sep 1960
p. 77.
Variety
28 Sep 1960
p. 19, 24.
Variety
21 Jun 1961
p. 6.
Variety
28 Jun 1961
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Joshua Logan Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus supv & cond
Mus adpt
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the musical Fanny, book by Joshua Logan and S.N. Behrman, music and lyrics by Harold Rome (New York 4 Nov 1954) and the play Marius by Marcel Pagnol (Paris, 9 Mar 1929) and his plays Fanny (Paris, 5 Dec 1931) and César (production undetermined) and the French films Marius (1931), Fanny (1932) and César (1936), written by Pagnol.
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 June 1961
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 28 June 1961
New York opening: 6 July 1971
Production Date:
16 May--mid September 1960
Copyright Claimant:
Mansfield Productions
Copyright Date:
22 July 1960
Copyright Number:
LP25367
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Lenses
Cinemascope
Duration(in mins):
133
Countries:
France, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Fanny, the daughter of Honorine, a poor fishmonger in the port of Marseille in the 1930's, has always loved Marius, the handsome son of César, the headstrong proprietor of a waterfront bar. Marius, however, dreams only of the sea and has secretly made arrangements to sail away on a schooner bound for the "isles beneath the wind." On the eve of his departure, he and Fanny confess their love for each other and spend the night together. When morning comes, Marius offers to remain behind, but Fanny, knowing he would never be happy on land, sends him away. A few weeks later, Fanny learns that she is carrying Marius's child, and she turns to the elderly, widowed Panisse, a wealthy sail merchant. Delighted to marry Fanny and at long last have a son to carry on the family name and business, Panisse weds the girl. One year later, Marius, after having found his cherished isles to be nothing but "volcanic ash," returns to Marseille and tries to claim his son, Cesario. But Fanny and César explain to him that little Cesario belongs to Panisse, for it is he who has given the child the loving care that only a father can bestow. And once more Marius leaves Marseille, this time to become a garage mechanic in a nearby town. As the years pass, little Cesario inherits his father's passion for the sea, and on his 9th birthday a friend of Marius's takes the child to visit his father. As Marius embraces his son, Fanny arrives with word that Panisse is dying. From his deathbed the old man dictates a letter to César in which he asks Marius to marry ... +


Fanny, the daughter of Honorine, a poor fishmonger in the port of Marseille in the 1930's, has always loved Marius, the handsome son of César, the headstrong proprietor of a waterfront bar. Marius, however, dreams only of the sea and has secretly made arrangements to sail away on a schooner bound for the "isles beneath the wind." On the eve of his departure, he and Fanny confess their love for each other and spend the night together. When morning comes, Marius offers to remain behind, but Fanny, knowing he would never be happy on land, sends him away. A few weeks later, Fanny learns that she is carrying Marius's child, and she turns to the elderly, widowed Panisse, a wealthy sail merchant. Delighted to marry Fanny and at long last have a son to carry on the family name and business, Panisse weds the girl. One year later, Marius, after having found his cherished isles to be nothing but "volcanic ash," returns to Marseille and tries to claim his son, Cesario. But Fanny and César explain to him that little Cesario belongs to Panisse, for it is he who has given the child the loving care that only a father can bestow. And once more Marius leaves Marseille, this time to become a garage mechanic in a nearby town. As the years pass, little Cesario inherits his father's passion for the sea, and on his 9th birthday a friend of Marius's takes the child to visit his father. As Marius embraces his son, Fanny arrives with word that Panisse is dying. From his deathbed the old man dictates a letter to César in which he asks Marius to marry Fanny. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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