23 May 2020 | ulicknormanowen
That you will not find this movie is any guide of films is a good reason to write a comment on it.
This is a marvelously precise depiction of small shopkeepers life in a little French town circa 1950,at a time when supermarkets were unknown.Devoid of vulgarity ,this is a populist movie,in the best sense of the word .
To attract a large clientele,Mr Leon organizes a lottery ,the prize of which is a brand new bike which makes all the brats of the town drool ;then the customers come en masse ,because ,to get a ticket ,you have to spend at least 1000 francs in food (old francs of course)in his shop .The other small traders are angry with the grocer because their clients desert them:the butcher does not sell meat anymore , because they all buy tinned (canned) food in this damned grocery shop ;the gourmet husbands groan because they have to be content with tinned salmon with mayonaise instead of tender juicy steaks.
The dishonest trader doctors his tickets to make wealthy people (not from the town) win,which increases his colleagues' rage.He is at odds with his son who has become a mechanic (therefore, won't succeed his dad)and who loves a modest orphan girl he does not want to hear of.
The screenwriters create lots of supporting characters ,all colorful and endearing.
Well acted by the three principals, Yves Deniaud,Suzanne Dehelly and Raymond Bussières .
It was director Jean Gehret 's last effort and he was to pass away four years after.His first film "le café du cadran" ,was also a very original depiction of the atmosphere of a café just after WW2.Populism indeed.