French novelist-turned-film director Marcel Pagnol made this black and white feature in 1953, He later wrote a novel based on his original script, which in turn was the source material for two much better known films made by director Claude Berri in 1986 - - Jean de Florette and Berri's own version of Manon des sources. Released uncut for the first time in 1988, Pagnol' s feature has a hefty running time of over four and a half hours. The story concerns the efforts of the beautiful shepherdess Manon Cadoret (played by the director's wife Jacqueline Pagnol) to avenge the death of her father Jean de Florette. The chief culprit in that death is a hapless peasant (played by veteran Marseilles comic Rellys), who, sadly, is desperately in love with Manon. Manon's revenge involves cutting off the town's water supply, drawing the wrath of the villagers. Her only ally is the town's somewhat haughty schoolteacher (Raymond Pellegrin), who she eventually marries. The action of this film corresponds roughly to Berri's version of Manon des sources. His Jean de Florette focused on events surrounding the father's death, which is here covered mostly in dialogue.
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