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The Well-Digger's Daughter [DVD]

Daniel Auteuil , Kad Merad , Daniel Auteuil    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
Price: £6.13 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Daniel Auteuil, Kad Merad, Sabine Azéma, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Nicolas Duvauchelle
  • Directors: Daniel Auteuil
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Feb 2012
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004X9YOOW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,510 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Daniel Auteuil made the jump from in front of the camera to behind it with The Well Digger’s Daughter, choosing to adapt Marcel Pagnol’s story for the big screen. Pagnol also penned the source material to Jean De Florette and Manon Des Sources, two of the most acclaimed and popular French films of the past few decades. And while The Well Digger’s Daughter doesn’t sit side by side with them, it’s still a commendable piece of cinema.

Unashamedly old fashioned in its style, The Well Digger’s Daughter is set around World War II, with Auteuil himself playing the well digger of the film’s title. One of his daughters, meanwhile, is Patricia, and it’s she who begins a short relationship with the son of a wealthy family. He soon disappears, she discovers that she’s pregnant, and from there, the film’s core drama ensues.

You’d hardly call The Well Digger’s Daughter a hard-nosed tail, though, with Auteuil opting for a gentle tone, and an unfussy style for his feature. He recruits a strong cast, too, not least Astrid Berges-Frisbey, who previously made her Hollywood debut in Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

To Auteuil’s credit, it’s a beautifully shot film, one that gently deals with issues of class and standing, even if it’s never got any intention of landing a heavy punch. Still, the film is ultimately a strong, well-mounted production, albeit one that might not linger too long in your brain afterwards. It really is lovely to look at, though. --Jon Foster

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: It's the beginning of the WWII. South of France. Beautiful village girl Patricia (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), 18, is the oldest daughter of a well-digger, Pascal (Daniel Auteuil), who considers her a princess because of her moral qualities. She's kind, devoted. One day, she briefly meets a young man, Jacques, the son of Mazel, owner of the shop where her father buy his material. He's handsome and teasing. Her father's friend, Felipe, would love to marry her, and he invites her to an aviation show. She accepts his invitation only because she knows Jacques is a pilot and will be there. Soon, she'll carry his child, and he'll be gone, and the family will have to deal with this out-of-wedlock pregnancy... ...The Well-Digger's Daughter ( La fille du puisatier ) ( The Well Digger's Daughter )

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Well Digger's Daughter 21 Mar 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An absolutely beautiful and stunning film. From the moment the film opens, with the shot of Patricia (the eldest daughter of the well digger and superbly played by Astrid Berges-Frisbey) walking across a Provencal field strewn with poppies to take her father his lunch, it was obvious that one was in for a cinematic treat. The scenes of the Provencal countryside are magnificent. Daniel Auteuil is marvellous - both as actor in and director of this piece - an adaptation of a novel, set in Provence in 1940, by Marcel Pagnol. The rest of the cast, including Nicolas Duvauchelle as Jacques, the young French fighter pilot with whom Patricia falls in love, do not disappoint. All were excellent in their respective roles, making this one of the best adaptations ever of a Pagnol novel. It should not be missed. Quite why this film failed to gain any awards, other than that of the World Soundtrack Award for 2011, beats me. It should have swept the board.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a pleasant, pretty, quirky, amusing French film 30 Dec 2011
By Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane TOP 100 REVIEWER
Like 'Jean de Florette' and 'Manon des Sources', this film is based on a story by Maurice Pagnol. Like those two films also, it is beautifully filmed in very pretty French countryside where it does not seem to rain (and perhaps it doesn't in real life, or not much). Visually, it is lovely. It is also a feel-good film with a pleasant dash of French quirkiness. Daniel Auteuil plays Pascal Amoretti, the well-digger of the title, a very decent man with an old-fashioned and rather whimsical set of rural values, who has brought up six pretty daughters - the youngest is four years old, the oldest, Patricia, eighteen. With his assistant Felipe, an entirely good-natured and kindly man, he plies his energetic trade. Patricia meets Jacques Mazel, the son of the local store-keeper, charming and rather dashing (and trustworthy?). She is then fairly rapidly pregnant, he is sent off to war, and they are separated. In any case, the social gap between them is significant, and the Mazels want nothing to do with Amoretti and his family. This leads to Major Complications. The plot works itself out and it all ends .... well, I shouldn't say, so I shan't. It is a thoroughly pleasant film with excellent acting from Auteuil and the other principals. It does not quite have the sharp edge of 'Manon des Sources' and 'Jean', but the course of true love does not run smoothly and it is not a sentimental film #except where the baby is concerned ; he cries as little as it rains in his part of the world#. It is surprising and amusing in places, and there is genuine tenderness in some scenes, especially where the well-digger and his daughter are concerned. I don't think it's a great film, but it is a good one and well worth a look.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the best films I've watched this year. The acting is great and refined, the scenery and colours are breathtaking. The dialogue is crafted as in the original book.
I'm surprised no one yet has commented on the music. A real treat. It nourishes the soul and brings out well all the emotions felt in the story. How wonderful it is to hear very old tracks (Caruso 1911!) remastered in stereo with wonderful full orchestra. An hour later I was downloading the soundtrack.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER
Set in the sundrenched Provence countryside near the town of Salon at the outbreak of World War 2, this soft-centred but often surprisingly moving tale follows the well-worn trail of the innocent young girl who falls for a wealthy cad. In this case, Patricia, daughter of a simple but fiercely proud well-digger finds herself pregnant after Jacques, spoiled son of the owner of the local hardware store, has been sent off to fight at the front. How will her father react when he learns that his "angelic princess" is no better than other girls? Will Jacques's doting mother feel her son should "do the decent thing" and marry the girl? As the well-digger observes, "You can't trust people who sell tools but don't use them."

Patricia is more than just a pretty face. In addition to receiving a period of education in Paris with a wealthy benefactor, she has a strong sense of honesty and integrity which may pierce Jacques's worldly cynicism, although you wonder whether he would be capable of being faithful to her in the long run.

There are some entertaining further plot twists in the dogged devotion to Patricia of Félipe,assistant to the well-digger Pascal. In turn, Félipe is loved in longsuffering silence by Patricia's younger sister Amanda. Then there is Pascal's blend of shrewdness and stubborn stupidity, his rueful shouldering of the burden of six daughters after his wife's death.

We see an exploration of some of the dilemmas of French rural society. It is shameful for a daughter to have a bastard child, yet a man's dearest wish is to have a boy child to bear his surname, even if at one remove as a grandson....
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Auteuil at his best 3 April 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent, portraying the problems experienced by many outside the immediate protagonists of a relationship that goes further than it ought. It has a charm often found in French films that is totally absent from the products of the Hollyowood factory.

A must watch!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Liked it
I am not a fan of French cinema but this is a well acted film by all the characters . The plot highlights some traditional values and attitudes . Very enjoyable film .
Published 1 month ago by Peter
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet film for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Cinematic equivalent of a slightly too sweet mug of hot chocolate. Enjoyable none the less, and very pretty to look at.
Published 1 month ago by Bookness
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delight
A really nice film, good story, good acting with humour especially Daniel Auteuil potrail of a father with six !! daughters. Well worth a look.
Published 1 month ago by David Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars My friend likes this!
We bought this as a gift for our friend - he loves it and has watched it a couple of times. I have never seen it but I am sure he will lend it to us soon!!!
Published 1 month ago by Uncle Adrian
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is a fabulous film, good story, good quality colour. The whole film wanted me to watch it over again, which I haven't at the moment but will do.
Published 2 months ago by Michael Brassington
1.0 out of 5 stars Faulty disc. Would not play after 40 minutes?
Bought this as a present for my sister and they were very disappointed that it would not play after 40 minutes. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Hamish Learmont
5.0 out of 5 stars French Epic
Lovely movie! Playing the main character and at the same Directing a movie is no joke.....and here is where Daniel Auteuil scores! A touching story, well told on the big screen. Read more
Published 3 months ago by K. S. Narayanan
5.0 out of 5 stars best film my mother has seen EVER
just bought this film for my mother for Christmas and she said it is one of the best films she has ever seen . Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. Govey
5.0 out of 5 stars The Well-Diggers Daughter
Bought as a christmas present for my Husband he loves Daniel Auteuil Films, great viewing will add to his collection
Published 3 months ago by mr david norton
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story
Superb movie, well written and great acting. Well worth viewing. French with English subtitles, easy to follow . Highly recommend watching
Published 4 months ago by Sarah Stenhouse
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