Topaze is a 1928 play in four acts by the French writer Marcel Pagnol. It tells the story of a modest school teacher who is fired for being too honest and decides to become a dishonest businessman. The play premiered on 9 October 1928 at the Théâtre des Variétés.It was performed on Broadway in 1930 with Frank Morgan in the title role.
Topaze is a teacher at a boarding school, deeply in love with his fellow teacher Ernestine. Ernestine, the daughter of the school principal Mr. Muche, takes advantage of him, making him do her paperwork and watch her students, but Topaze naively takes this to be a mark of affection and asks his friend Tamise, another teacher, to quietly see if Mr. Muche would let Ernestine marry. In the meantime, a young woman named Suzy Courtois arrives; she is the aunt of a private student of Topaze and intends to enroll the child at the school, but she changes her mind after visiting.
Topaze is asked to change the report card of a wealthy student to improve the student's grades, as the student is the son of a baroness. Truthful Topaze refuses despite M. Muche's insistences, making the principal angry. Tamise unwittingly reveals Topaze's intent to marry Ernestine. This is the last straw for Mr. Muche and he fires Topaze.
Topaze is giving a lesson to his private pupil at Suzy's house. Suzy, beneath her spotless exterior, has a secret: she is the mistress of Régis Castel-Benac, a municipal counsellor who uses his office to engage in shady but lucrative business deals which have enriched not only himself but Suzy. Roger, Castel-Benac's frontman, wants a bigger share of the profits, but Castel-Benac refuses. Suzy proposes using Topaze to get around Castel-Benac, and along with Roger successfully convinces Topaze to become the director of a brand-new office regulating business and then to sign some documents in place of Castel-Benac. When Roger reveals the nature of the business dealings to Topaze, Suzy quickly steps in and keeps Topaze from denouncing them by claiming that Castel-Benac has forced her to go along. Topaze keeps his silence, convinced that he must do so to "save" Suzy.
Topaze is now the director of a business firm, but his "good luck" doesn't make him happy; he is tormented by his conscience and constantly fears arrest, and he has discovered that Suzy is Castel-Benac's accomplice and mistress as opposed to victim. He confessed his love to Suzy, but she now sees him as merely a friend. He spurns Ernestine and Mr. Muche in favor of Suzy, and continues to work as Castel-Benac's frontman despite knowing the truth.
Suzy is angry at Castel-Benac for keeping her out of his new business, a move which he denies. For once he is telling the truth; this venture was launched by Topaze, who is now an elegant and confident businessman and who announces to Castel-Benac that he will now work alone on his ventures. Castel-Benac has no recourse against his former frontman. Suzy also splits with Castel-Benac to become mistress to Topaze.
Tamise has stayed an honest professor. When he visits Topaze he is at first horrified by how money has corrupted his old friend, but he does not refuse when Topaze offers him a job.
The play has been adapted for film multiple times, most notably in 1933 with John Barrymore in the title role.
Marcel Paul Pagnol was a French novelist, playwright, and filmmaker. Regarded as an auteur, in 1946, he became the first filmmaker elected to the Académie française. Although his work is less fashionable than it once was, Pagnol is still generally regarded as one of France's greatest 20th-century writers and is notable for the fact that he excelled in almost every medium—memoir, novel, drama and film.
Fanny is a 1961 American Technicolor drama film directed by Joshua Logan. The screenplay by Julius J. Epstein is based on the book for the 1954 stage musical of the same title by Logan and S.N. Behrman, which in turn had been adapted from Marcel Pagnol's trilogy. Pagnol wrote two plays, Marius (1929) and Fanny (1931) and completed the cycle by writing and directing a film, César, in 1936. Meanwhile, Marius (1931) and Fanny (1932) were also produced as films.
Mr. Topaze is Peter Sellers' directorial debut in 1961. Starring Sellers, Nadia Gray, Leo McKern, and Herbert Lom. His son Michael Sellers plays in the film in the role of Gaston. The film is based on the eponymous play by Marcel Pagnol.
Port of Seven Seas is a 1938 drama film starring Wallace Beery and featuring Frank Morgan and Maureen O'Sullivan. The movie was written by Preston Sturges based on the plays of Marcel Pagnol and the films based on them, and was directed by James Whale, the director of Frankenstein (1931) and The Invisible Man (1933). The cinematography is by Karl Freund, who filmed Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) and I Love Lucy (1951-1957).
Topaze is a 1933 American pre-Code film directed by D'Abbadie D'Arrast and starring John Barrymore and Myrna Loy. It was based on the French play of the same name by Marcel Pagnol. Another film version of Topaze, this one made in the original French was also released that year, starring Louis Jouvet in the title role. Subsequently, Pagnol himself directed another film titled Topaze in 1936.
Sylvia Bataille was a French actress of Romanian-Jewish descent. When she was twenty, she married the writer Georges Bataille with whom she had a daughter, the psychoanalyst Laurence Bataille (1930–1986). Georges Bataille and Sylvia separated in 1934 but did not divorce until 1946. Starting in 1938, she was a companion of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan with whom, in 1941, she had a daughter, Judith, today Judith Miller. Sylvia Bataille married Jacques Lacan in 1953.
Vincent Scotto was a French composer.
Topaze may refer to:
Josette Day was a French film actress.
Topaze is a 1951 French comedy film directed by Marcel Pagnol and starring Fernandel, Hélène Perdrière and Marcel Vallée. It is based on Pagnol's own 1928 play of the same name, which has been adapted for the screen a number of times including a 1936 film directed by Pagnol.
Alida Rouffe (1874–1949) was a French actress.
Jacqueline Andrée Pagnol was a French actress. She acted in many French films in the 1940s and 1950s. She was the widow of French author and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol.
The Pretty Miller Girl is a 1949 French musical film directed by Marcel Pagnol and starring Tino Rossi, Jacqueline Pagnol and Raoul Marco. It is part of the tradition of operetta films. The title is a reference to Schubert's song cycle Die schöne Müllerin.
Marcelle Tassencourt was a French actress and theatre director.
Topaze is a 1933 French comedy film directed by Louis J. Gasnier and starring Louis Jouvet, Simone Héliard and Marcel Vallée. It is based on the 1928 play Topaze by Marcel Pagnol. The same year, an American version of the play Topaze was released, starring John Barrymore. In 1936, Pagnol himself remade the film in France.
Topaze is a 1936 French comedy film directed by Marcel Pagnol and starring Alexandre Arnaudy, Sylvia Bataille and Pierre Asso. It is based on the Pagnol's own 1928 play Topaze. A separate adaptation Topaze had been directed by Louis J. Gasnier three years earlier.
Alexandre Arnaudy was a French actor, born Marius Guarino on July 17, 1881 in Marseille, where he died on November 1, 1969.
Topaze is a 1966 Australian TV play based on the 1928 play by the French writer Marcel Pagnol.
Merlusse is a 1935 French comedy drama film written and directed by Marcel Pagnol and starring Henri Poupon, André Pollack and Annie Toinon. It was shot at the Lycée Thiers in Marseille, which Pagnol had himself once attended.
Henri Poupon (1884–1953) was a French stage and film actor. He worked a number of times with the write-director Marcel Pagnol.
Topaze at the Internet Broadway Database