A love triangle blooms among a naïve young woman,
an aspiring sailor, and a rich widower in Marseilles.
Directed by Joshua Logan
Written by Julius J. Epstein
Starring Leslie Caron, Horst Buchholz, Charles Boyer,
Maurice Chevalier, Georgette Anys
Based on the stage play by S.N. Behrman and Joshua Logan
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Actor (Charles Boyer),
Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score
(Morris Stoloff and Harry Sukman)
In my ongoing journey through 20th century cinema, particularly those films touched by the Academy, I have seen some genuine masterpieces. I have also seen some serious duds that scored Oscar nominations via bribery and other shady shit. Then there was Fanny, a film that took me over two weeks and three separate sittings to watch. A film with some of the most despicable and unrelatable characters I've ever seen. A film that was nominated alongside what some would consider to be four of the greatest films of the 1960's, and doesn't hold a candle to any of them. Fanny may just be the worst Best Picture nominee I have ever sat through.
At the core of this remarkably dull drama is a love triangle. There's Marius (Buchholz), a bartender who dreams of running away and sailing the world. There's Panisse (Chevalier), a rich widower with a heart of gold. And then there's Fanny (Caron), the woman they both love. Fanny loves Marius and becomes pregnant with his child right before he skips town. Panisse agrees to marry her anyway because he can't have children. Marius's father Cesar (Boyer), for some reason, makes a claim to the child and tries to stop the wedding. In fact, Cesar's arrogance and constant meddling keeps the character from becoming endearing. Then there's Fanny's super crazy and unrealistically mean mother. Seriously, all the characters in this movie are lunatics.
You can tell this was once a musical, and it was such a strange decision to cut the songs out and turn Fanny into a drama. It sucks all the levity out of the film and leaves you with mean characters making bad decisions and a meandering plot that just won't stop until it's outstayed its welcome. This is a terrible movie and easily one of the worst I've ever seen.