Manon des Sources (1986 film)

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The truth is the spring was always there! The truth is you blocked it off!

Manon des Sources released in North America as Manon of the Spring, is a critically acclaimed and commercially successful 1986 French language film. Directed by Claude Berri, it follows Jean de Florette, as the second of two films adapted from the 1966 two-volume novel The Water of the Hills by Marcel Pagnol, who wrote it based on his own earlier film of the same title.

Manon Cadoret[edit]

  • There's no gold here. It's Jurassic cretaceous from the second Quaternary era.
  • I won't help those who stole my father's water! … The truth is the spring was always there! The truth is you blocked it off!


He's unaware of his happiness, but I know my misery. I can't stand it. I'd like to kill him. But it would hurt her, and I'd never hurt her.
  • Aren't you Manon, the daughter of Monsieur Jean? I see you don't remember me. That's because I've changed a lot. I'm Ugolin — your poor father's friend. You've changed too. You're a real young lady. I hardly recognize you.
  • I love you, Manon. I love you with all my heart! Manon!
    I want to marry you!
    I'm all alone! I've got no-one! My grandparents are dead. My father hanged himself when I was little. My mother died of the flu. There's only Uncle Papet! He's rich, he's old. He's going to die. He's going to leave me all his money. It'll be yours, because I love you.
    I love you! I am sick for the love of you. It's suffocating me! I saw you bathing in the rainwater. I watched for hours. You were so lovely. I was tempted to commit a crime!
  • What a terrible mixture between my remorse and the happiness I'd like to bring you. Don't you know how I'll slave for you, my love?
  • Papet,
    I'm leaving because I can't go on.
    It's not the carnations. It's because of my love.
    I realize she'll never want me. I suspected it because her ribbon burned my flesh. And when I told her in public I wanted to marry her she spat at me in a fury.
    What's more, she fled towards the teacher. When he talks to her, she lowers her eyes. When he stops, she lingers until he continues. And he takes her love for granted. He's unaware of his happiness, but I know my misery. I can't stand it. I'd like to kill him. But it would hurt her, and I'd never hurt her.
    I leave her my farm and all that's hidden — you know where — to the left of the fireplace. Don't make any trouble. It's not her fault or yours. It's fate. Arrange a Mass for me, because up there, I'll have to explain about the spring.
    Adieu, my Papet. I'm sorry to leave you, but I can't stay.

Cesar Soubeyran[edit]

I'm too ashamed to face anyone, even the trees.
  • Dear little Manon,
    The notary will tell you that I'm leaving you my whole estate.
    It may surprise you, but it's the truth.
    The lawyer will give you all the documents because your father was my son.
    He was the Soubeyran I'd hoped for all my life, whom I tormented to death because I didn't know who he was. If I had told him about the spring, he'd still be playing his harmonica, and you'd all be living in our family home.
    No one knows it, but I'm too ashamed to face anyone, even the trees.
    In the village, there's a person who knows. She will tell you everything. It's Delphine, the old blind woman. She'll explain that it's all because of Africa.
    I don't deserve to kiss you, and I never dared speak to you, but maybe now you can forgive me and even say a little prayer for poor Ugolin and me.
    I'm so pathetic, I even pity myself. Out of sheer spite, I never went near him.
    I never knew his voice or his face. I never saw his eyes, which might have been like his mother's.
    I only saw his hump and the pain I caused him.
    Now you understand why I want to die, because next to my torments, even hell would be a pleasure.

    Besides, I'll see him up there.
    I'm not afraid of him. Now he knows he's a Soubeyran.
    He's no longer a hunchback because of me.
    He knows it was all a foolish mistake.
    I'm sure that instead of blaming me, he'll defend me.

    Farewell, my darling girl.
    Your grandfather,
    César Soubeyran


Ugolin: [to Manon] I love you unbearably. Listen... please listen, Manon. Ever since I saw you, ever since I spoke to you, food has been turning to sawdust in my mouth, sleep has been a torment. If you reject me, I will die or go mad.
Cesar: Shut up, you fool. Shut up. Let's go.

Cesar: I swear on that cross that I received no letter except from my father and Anglade.
Delphine: In that case, it's a tragedy.
Cesar: Why?
Delphine: Swear again that you're not lying to me.
Cesar: I swear it. Who wrote to me?
Delphine: Florette.
Cesar: Florette Camoins?
Delphine: There was no other Florette.
Cesar: Are you sure?
Delphine: I, myself, gave the letter to the mailman.
Cesar: I'd never have forgotten a letter from her. I still have two faded notes she wrote to me, and a black comb from her hair.
It's true.
When I came back, she had left the village. She was married to the blacksmith in Crespin and she already had a child.
Delphine: How could that letter have gotten lost?
Cesar: Over there, we moved from place to place. Sometimes our food and even our ammunition didn't reach us. Some letters may have been lost too. But if I had received that letter, I would still know it by heart.
Delphine: If that's true, it's dreadful.
Cesar: You think she loved me?
Delphine: Imbecile.
Cesar: She never told me so not even after what happened between us one night in Anglade's barn.
Delphine: That's how she was. In her letter she told you that she was pregnant.
Cesar: What?
Delphine: Yes.
Cesar: You had left three weeks before. She told you if you wrote to her father promising to marry her she would wait for you. She could have shown her letter to the whole village and nobody would have dreamed of making fun of her.
Cesar: Are you sure?
Delphine: The poor girl couldn't sleep. She tried to lose the baby with devilish potions. She jumped from high rocks in the hills — but nothing worked. Then she started hating you. She went to the dance at Aubagne where she found the blacksmith from Crespin. So she left the village and no one ever knew when the child was born.
Cesar: Was it born alive?
Delphine: Alive, yes — but it was a hunchback.


Quotes about Manon des Sources[edit]

  • Revenge, love, and the shocking irony of a hidden family relationship highlight this sequel to the acclaimed Jean de Florette. Although Manon des Sources can stand alone as a separate motion picture, viewers will gain a deeper understanding of it if they view Florette first. Both films, masterpieces of modern French cinema, owe their plots to Marcel Pagnol's novel L'Eau des Collines.
  • There is something to be said for a long story that unfolds with an inexorable justice. In recent movies we've become accustomed to stories that explode into dozens of tiny dim-witted pieces of action, all unrelated to each other. Cars hurtle through the air, victims are peppered with gunshot holes, heroes spit out clever one-liners, and at the end of it all, what are we left with? Our hands close on empty air.
    Manon of the Spring, which is the conclusion of the story that began with Jean de Florette, is the opposite kind of movie. It moves with a majestic pacing over the affairs of four generations, demonstrating that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children. Although Manon is self-contained and can be understood without having seen Jean de Florette, the full impact of this work depends on seeing the whole story, right from the beginning; only then does the ending have its full force.
  • Montand's plot against the hunchback was incredibly cruel, but the movie was at pains to explain that Montand was not gratuitously evil. His most important values centered on the continuity of land and family, and in his mind his plot against Depardieu was justified by the need to defend the land against an "outsider." As Manon of the Spring opens, some years later, the unmarried and childless Montand is encouraging his nephew to find a woman and marry, so that the family name can be continued.
    The nephew already has a bride in mind: the beautiful Manon (Emmanuelle Beart), daughter of the dead man, who tends goats on the mountainside and lives in poverty, although she has received a good education.
    • Roger Ebert, in his review in Chicago Sun-Times (23 December 1987)

External links[edit]