"The Baker's Wife" Is Released
The Baker's Wife (La femme du boulanger) is a 1938 French comedy film directed by Marcel Pagnol. It is based on the novella Jean le Bleu by French author Jean Giono and became the basis of the American musical The Baker's Wife.
The Baker's Wife (La Femme de Boulanger), though based on a novel by Jean Giono, was specially tailored by writer/director Marcel Pagnol for the talents of the incomparable Raimu. The star plays the new baker in the French community of Provence. One of Raimu's first customers is shepherd Charles Moulin, who is immediately smitten by the middle-aged baker's young, toothsome wife Ginette LeClerc. In short order, Ginette runs off with Moulin, a turn of events that the stubborn Raimu refuses to acknowledge. As he grows more taciturn, he neglects his work, and soon the whole village anxiously awaits the wife's return, else they'll never see another loaf of bread. The local Marquis (Charpin) takes matters in hand by leading the townsfolk in a search party for the wayward wife. The charms of The Baker's Wife are both captivating and fragile; an attempt in 1976 to turn the property into a Broadway musical proved the fragility by ignoring the charm. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide