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 »
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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:

"Eet ees magnifique". And it's all about the birds and the bees...and a lot of delightful people. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harry Cohn, big Columbia executive, forced Richard Fleischer to write a letter in which he said that he was not a communist. If he refused, he would never make the film. See more »

Quotes

Jacques Bonnard: Believe me, my love; this bird, in his song-which I understand completely-has expressed a desire to live his own life! It is a desire that must be respected.
Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard: How do you know what he wants, papa?
Susan Bonnard: Your father, it seems, understands the language of birds. The first day we met, he told me that he'd been speaking with a lark, who wished us to visit him in the woods.
Robert 'Bibi' Bonnard: This is how it happened?
Jacques Bonnard: This is how it began.
Grandpere Bonnard: [to Susan] And you-the bird's wish was granted? You went into the woods with him?
[...]
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Connections

Features The Son of the Sheik (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

Lohengrin: Act 3
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by John Leipold
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User Reviews

 
Bobby Driscoll Comes of Age
23 November 2007 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Bobby Driscoll (as Robert "Bibi" Bonnard) is a teenager "coming of age" in 1920s Ottawa. Mr. Driscoll's uncle, traveling salesman Louis Jourdan (as Desmond Bonnard), is away when the film begins; he enjoys a "playboy" lifestyle, but returns soon, for a visit. Driscoll's father, Charles Boyer (as Jacques Bonnard) appears to have grown out of an extended career of his own, as a "ladies' man"; and his father, randy Marcel Dalio (as Grandpa Bonnard), recognizes "la puberty" is beginning for Driscoll…

Everyone in the cast is outstanding; but, "The Happy Time" is, more than anything, Driscoll's film. He more than holds his own, among the distinguished cast. Watching Driscoll perform in this film makes his sudden slide from favor all the more puzzling - he may not have grown up according to the Disney studio's specifications, but few do. As evidenced here, Driscoll should have had a long working career as, if anything, a comedian; "…only one is from the burlesque, the other was obtained privately," he says, arriving at the dinner table wearing garters.

Director Richard Fleischer does Earl Felton's smartly written play justice. The film is full of nice "symbolic" touches - the canary, the girl's braces, and the medals appearing inside more than one of the characters' jackets. While beautifully done, the film's ill-mannered presentation of sex, love, and gender roles seems very queer; probably, the film's themes held significantly more charm in the 1950s. Also worth watching for Kurt Kasznar (repeating his stage role as a possibly alcoholic neighboring uncle), Marsha Hunt (whom Driscoll seems to take after, in looks), Linda Christian (recalling of Eva Gabor), Jimmy Bishop (a young Chuck Connors), and Marlene Cameron (entering her own "happy time").

******** The Happy Time (10/30/52) Richard Fleischer ~ Bobby Driscoll, Charles Boyer, Louis Jourdan, Kurt Kasznar


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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
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