#115 The Baker’s Wife (1938)

According to the French Institute of Public Opinion, 63% of French people believe they can love someone even if he or she has cheated. Well, that was definitely true in the late 1930s during the time of this film. Marcel Pagnol’s The Baker’s Wife is about how a beautiful, young woman leaves her husband, a baker, for a shepherd, causing the small village to come together to reunite this baker with his wife.

When a baker’s wife does not show up the next morning, it does not even come to his attention that she could have run away. He is thinking the worse of her disappearance like she has been kidnapped. It is not until later that he realizes that she has ran off with a Shepard. It is a small village so of course everyone has heard about this. While the villagers at first mock the situation, they realize that the baker is so depressed that he refuses to bake bread ever again and continuously gets himself drunk. This causes the villagers to band together to help this baker.

I was really impressed with Raimu’s acting in how he could be funny as he is in total obliviousness of the situation to being truly depressed. Especially towards the end where he lets out all of his anger towards the cat instead of at his wife.  It proves that sometimes you do not know what you have until it’s gone. This was a pretty good movie except I felt like things were wrapped up too neatly in the end. Would you forgive someone who cheats on you? A fun fact about this movie is how after Orson Welles saw this film, he wanted to meet Raimu himself but unfortunately found out he died, leaving him in tears. I would be disappointed as well. This film is a French classic and a good film to see. 

This is the only copy I could find online and with English subtitles. The subtitles are not perfect as it is basically ever other sentence but enough to get the gist of the story. Please comment what you think:)

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