Merlusse, one of French writer/director Marcel Pagnol's two 1935 offerings, was released in the U.S. three years later in 1938. Henri Poupon plays the title character, an unpopular and incredibly homely boy's school teacher. Forever targeted for practical jokes for his hideous appearance and "backward" teaching methods, Merlusse stubbornly remains at his job, as rigid and unchanging as ever. Come Christmas morning, each of Merlusse's tormentors -- most of whom come from broken or neglectful homes -- find a personal gift at the foot of their bed. Shamefully realizing that they've done their teacher wrong, the boys repay his kindness in a most touching fashion. Simultaneously, Merlusse's superiors, who have long under appreciated the man, are finally made aware of his true value.
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