6.9/10
431
20 user 5 critic

The Happy Time (1952)

Approved | | Comedy | 3 December 1952 (Denmark)
Spring inspires lessons in love and life for a French family in 1920s Ottawa, especially for teenage Robert, who's blind to the attentions of an American neighbor girl, because he's ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Fleischer

Writers:

Earl Felton (screenplay), Robert Fontaine (stories) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Boyer ... Jacques Bonnard
Louis Jourdan ... Uncle Desmond Bonnard
Marsha Hunt ... Susan Bonnard
Bobby Driscoll ... Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard
Linda Christian ... Mignonette Chappuis
Kurt Kasznar ... Uncle Louis Bonnard
Marcel Dalio ... Grandpere Bonnard
Jeanette Nolan ... Felice Bonnard
Jack Raine ... Mr. Frye - School Principal
Richard Erdman ... Alfred Grattin
Marlene Cameron ... Peggy O'Hare
Gene Collins Gene Collins ... Jimmy Bishop
Ann Faber Ann Faber ... Yvonne Bonnard
Kathryn Sheldon Kathryn Sheldon ... Miss Tate - Schoolteacher
Edward Clark ... Dr. Marchaud
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Storyline

Spring inspires lessons in love and life for a French family in 1920s Ottawa, especially for teenage Robert, who's blind to the attentions of an American neighbor girl, because he's infatuated with the beautiful new maid, fleeing life as a magician's assistant. Robert's mother bemoans some of the Bonnard family male role models available to Robert: his party animal grandfather, roguish traveling salesman uncle Desmond, and an uncle who carries a water cooler filled with wine everywhere while his wife does all the work. As Desmond's temporarily off the road, he also targets the maid. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Finally a Funny Film on That Touchy Titillating Topic! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

3 December 1952 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Mein Sohn entdeckt die Liebe See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kurt Kasznar originally looked for too much money and was replaced by Zero Mostel. However Columbia head Harry Cohn was adamant that anyone being investigated by the HUAC would not work at his studio, and so Kasznar was rehired. See more »

Quotes

Susan Bonnard: [as Grandpere emerges from the house in his finery] Grandpa!
Grandpere Bonnard: Ah, bon soir. I'm late.
Susan Bonnard: Where are you going?
Grandpere Bonnard: Out.
Susan Bonnard: You should be in bed!
Grandpere Bonnard: It is only a matter of time.
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Paul Aguirre (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Pique Dame
(uncredited)
Music by Franz von Suppé
Arranged by John Leipold
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What a Happy Time:)
7 May 2011 | by abcj-2See all my reviews

The Happy Time (1952) is one of those little darling gems that I had no plan to watch, decided to watch due to the happy tune, knew nothing about, read nothing while watching it so that I would just enjoy it, and now deserves to be shouted from the rooftop, "Everyone should see The Happy Time!!!"

The film is set in Ottawa, Canada. It's actually a coming of age film for Bobby Driscoll. He's super darling and plays the perfect 50's teen on the cusp of manhood. He has trouble at school, a crush on the wrong female, ignores the right female, and finds himself caught in a few misunderstandings that make for some comedic moments.

But enough about Bobby. This film is so charming due to his exuberantly wonderful French-Canadian family. His grandfather is so dear, his mother and aunt are worriers, but his father and uncles really put the jewel in the crown. Charles Boyer, Louis Jourdan, and Kurt Kasznar play his father and uncles respectively. Individually they are entertaining, but when these three get together they are hilarious and happy.

Their French joie de vivre comes shining through, and they band together to help solve the teen angst dilemmas. There is a side romance with Jourdan and a beautiful woman employed by Bobby's family. Kasznar has a subplot where he keeps getting kicked out of his home for being a drunk. It sounds sinfully wrong, but it is done in such a lighthearted comical fashion that it doesn't detract from the film.

The "birds and bees" talk at the end is one of the cutest and absolute sanest explanations for sexual desire I've ever seen. Two of my sons got home about that time and I replayed it for them. They thought it was a hoot. I would never want to give it away. You just have to see it.

If you get a chance to see this delightful gem with some very handsome and talented Frenchmen, then look for The Happy Time. You'll be humming the little ditty and not be taking the little things too seriously afterward.


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