Release date1934 (France) WriterHenri Bernstein (play), Michel Duran (dialogue), Marcel LHerbier (scenario) Story byMarcel LHerbier, Henri Bernstein, Michel Duran CastGaby Morlay (Clara Stuart), Charles Boyer (Philippe Lutcher), Paulette Dubost (Louise), Jean Toulout (Maître Balbant), Georges Mauloy (Le président des Assises), Léon Arvel (L'avocat général) Similar moviesRelated Marcel LHerbier movies
Gaby morlay le bonheur n est plus un reve 1934
Le Bonheur ("Happiness") is a 1934 French film directed by Marcel L'Herbier. It was adapted from Henri Bernstein's play Le Bonheur, which Bernstein had staged in Paris in March 1933 with Charles Boyer and Michel Simon in leading roles; Boyer and Simon took the same parts in the film.
In 1934 Marcel L'Herbier held discussions with Charles Boyer on making a film about the actor Edmund Kean, but Boyer, whose career was at that time shifting between France and Hollywood, insisted that he wanted to film Bernstein's play Le Bonheur in which he had recently starred on stage in Paris. The rights to the play were held by the Pathé-Natan company, who also had a contract with Gaby Morlay, the preferred actress of both Boyer and L'Herbier for the other leading role.
Philippe Lutcher, an anarchist, fires a shot at Clara Stuart, a famous stage and screen actress, but only wounds her. The star, through affectation and curiosity to know his motives, pleads in his favour at his trial, but he rebuffs her pity. After he has served 18 months in prison, they meet and fall in love. Philippe however does not really believe in Clara's sincerity, and when he sees incidents from their lives becoming part of her latest film, he leaves her. He vows that their love will continue when he sits in the dark and watches her on the cinema screen.
Gaby Morlay as Clara Stuart
Charles Boyer as Philippe Lutcher
Paulette Dubost as Louise
Michel Simon as Noël Malpiaz
Jaque Catelain as Geoffroy de Chabré
Jean Toulout as Maître Balbant
Georges Mauloy as the President of Assises
Léon Arvel as the general state attorney
Filming took place in September and October 1934.
L'Herbier's assistant directors were Ève Francis and Jean Dréville.
Towards the end of filming, L'Herbier suffered an accident when a camera fell on him from an insecure track. He suffered a broken wrist and permanent damage to one eye. He undertook a prolonged legal action against the Pathé company in which the director argued for his status as an 'author' of the film rather than just a technician employed by the company. He eventually won the case, and it marked the first time that a film director in France was legally recognised as having rights of authorship in his work.
On its release Le Bonheur proved very popular with the public and was mostly well received by the French critics. However, after three years of distribution the film largely disappeared from sight for nearly 40 years. It was only in the 1970s that it was revived and recognised as one of the most significant achievements among L'Herbier's sound films.
In February 1935, the film was shown at the first Moscow Film Festival (albeit too late for the main competition) and it received a special "mention of honour" from the Soviet jury.