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The Well-Digger's Daughter [DVD]

128 customer reviews

Price: £5.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. 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 (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004X9YOOW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,986 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

As she cuts across the fields to take her father his lunch, Patricia meets Jacques. She is 18, he is 26. She is pretty, with the fine manners of a young lady; he is a fighter pilot and a handsome young man. A full moon will do the rest on their second meeting. There won’t be a third rendezvous as Jacques is sent to the front. Meanwhile, Patricia finds herself pregnant and the boy’s rich parents accuse her of blackmail. Patricia and her father, the well-digger, will alone have the joy of welcoming her child. A joy that the Mazels will soon envy and seek to share when Jacques goes missing in action…

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Chalcotribist on 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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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By hillbank68 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD
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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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Cinekalou on 10 Oct. 2012
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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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 100 REVIEWER on 5 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Isabella Balkert on 13 April 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Well-Digger's Daughter is a brilliant film. Just go for it. I have not the faintest idea why french films hardly ever reach Danish Movie Theaters or Danish Television, because films like this, is just the best. They knock out any Hollywood production by miles and miles.

And this is a new Pagnol Classic. It will last for years to come.
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