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(French 1937 b 126')

En: 6 Ed: 6

The last man in a mountain village finds a woman with a traveling grinder and takes her home, grows wheat, and starts a family.

Jasmin (Charles Blavette) asks for leave to get his aging father Gaubert (Edouard Delmont) from a town of three people. Panturle (Gabriel Gabrio) tells the widow Mameche (Marguerite Moreno) that Gaubert left to go live with his son. At dinner Jasmin's wife Belline (Milly Mathis) dislikes having his father there. Lonely Mameche complains and asks Panturle to have children, saying she will find him a girl. A policeman refuses to intervene after a group rape; but grinder Gedemus (Fernandel) goes, reprimands the charcoal burners, and helps the girl Arsule (Orane Demazis) by offering her work. She pulls his cart he uses to sharpen tools. While they eat, Arsule sees a tree hop. She sleeps with Gedemus, who fears a ghost. Panturle sees Gedemus and Arsule arrive and leave. At night they see Panturle fall from a tree and drag him from the brook. When Gedemus is asleep, Arsule wakes Panturle, who asks her to live with him. Gedemus wakes alone and looks for Arsule. He sees blood on the stairs and goes to the police. Panturle tells Arsule the blood was a fox's he skinned. Gedemus is arrested. Two policemen see the blood and question Arsule. Gedemus is released.

Arsule cleaned the kitchen and serves Panturle food. Panturle gets wheat seed and bread from L'Amoreux (Henri Poupon) and Alphonsine (Odette Roger). Panturle visits Gaubert, who is ill. Panturle says that Mameche left. He tells Gaubert that he got land and a girl. Gaubert lets Panturle have the last plowshare he made. Arsule welcomes Panturle home. L'Amoreux lends Panturle a mule and gives him wine. Panturle tells Arsule that Mameche died, and Arsule realizes that Mameche was looking for her. On the way to a fair men tell Gedemus that the wheat harvest is very bad. Yet Panturle and Arsule have twenty bags of wheat to sell and get 3,000 francs. Gedemus sees Arsule has changed. Panturle bought a suit, and Arsule gives him presents. Panturle tells her to buy something and visits dying Gaubert. Gedemus calls on Panturle and complains; but Panturle gives him money and has him sign his name. Jasmin finds Panturle plowing, says he inherited 5,000 francs, and wants to leave the city. Panturle says that Arsule can advise him, and Jasmin helps Panturle plow. In the final scene Panturle and Arsule sow seed, and she tells him that she is going to have a baby.

This dramatic paean to the simplicity of rural life shows how a half-wild hunter can treat a woman better than urban men as he achieves success with hard work.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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