Edouard Martin lives a peaceful existence in a small French town with his wife and two children. So calm is Martin that, even in this period of German occupation, his neighbours have nicknamed him "the quiet father". guHe spends much of his time attending to his fabulous collection of orchids, which even the German soldiers come to admire. In reality, Martin is leading a double life. Secretly, he is one of the most important resistance leaders in the area. Unaware of his father’s activities, Pierre becomes frustrated by his apparent passivity and makes it known that he intends to join the resistance. By contrast, Monique has been able to read the signs and deduces that her father is an active member of the resistance. Monsieur Martin has learned that the Allies intend to bomb an oil depot in the town. He now needs his daughter’s help if he is to save the townsfolk without alerting the Germans...
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Directed by Clément, Le Père Tranquille in some ways reflects the influence of actor-writer Noël-Noël more than that of Clément, whose first feature, La Bataille du Rail (1945), is a neorealistic picture of French railway workers involved in the Resistance. Le Père Tranquille approaches the subject of the involvement of the average Frenchman in Resistance activities with a sense of humor; the film stands out as an intimate portrait of small-town French life under the Occupation. “Instead of battlefield heroics, Le Père Tranquille examines the ordinary and the mundane in a manner both tender and ironic. At times, it becomes poetic....”--Dan Yakir, Museum of Modern Art. (Though critic Georges Sadoul, who wrote well of La Bataille du Rail, found Le Père Tranquille “an amusing but too facile...story of ‘free and easy’ resistance.”)
Source : bampfa.berkeley.edu