La Famille Duraton " was a comic radio broadcast ,which began in 1937 ,when TV sitcoms did not exist,for a good reason;it continued through the following decades,and finally called it a day in 1966!It spawned two French movies ("Les Duraton" 1956 and this movie) and yes! one American one,"True to life" ,directed by George Marshall in 1943 starring Franchot Tone.
Why would you deny yourself a good moment of fun?It's cinema Vérité (or radio Verité more like) before its time.
An unscrupulous radio Producer (Jules Berry ,true to form) whose car has broken down winds up in a small village among the broad mass of French people ;having dinner with the colorful Martin family ,he 's got a tremendous idea: to broadcast their daily supper,at 8 o'clock ,unbeknown to them .On the pretext of installing electricity in their humble home,he takes the opportunity to hide a microphone in chandelier.
SO every night,the family "performs " live ,but the Producer uses the "Duraton" pseudonym ;he runs into difficulty when it comes to having Martin Sr(Noel-Noel ,true to form) praise the Vily furniture - broadcast sponsor-,but this is a huge success,the listeners never stops praising the "actors"' naturalness.
In the village café ,people begin to notice similarities between the would be fictional family unit and their neighbors,the Martin family;it's all the more annoying since some intimate secrets are involuntary revealed: for instance ,the doctor is the chemist's wife's lover and he communicates with her by prescriptions .Will they see through the trick?
Like the 1956 sequel,it's a funny comedy which smartly blends fiction and reality and in its very modest way,predates stuff like "the Truman show" .Far be it from me to call this a masterpiece,but it's really pleasant entertainment.
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