At the Super Champion Film Zone film forum, we held a poll to discover our community's favourite UK films ever…
Went the Day Well?
The quiet village of Bramley End is taken over by German troops posing as Royal Engineers. Their task is to disrupt England's radar network in preparation for a full scale German invasion. Once the villagers discover the true identity of the troops they do whatever they can to thwart the Nazis plans.
You don't mess with a gun toting Thora Hird!
A superb wartime propaganda piece from Ealing and a classic war film, 1942's Went The Day Well? has its origins in a Graham Greene short story entitled The Lieutenant Died Last. Published two years earlier, Greene's story concerned a village poacher and Boer War veteran, who single-handedly foils the Nazis attempt to invade a sleepy rural English village. In the hands of Ealing writers John Dighton, Diana Morgan and Angus MacPhail, only the central premise is really kept, placing the action in fictional Bramley End (in reality, Turville, Oxfordshire) where the village squire Wilsford (Leslie Banks) has plotted with the Nazis, allowing a troop to surreptitiously arrive in the village disguised…
German paratroopers, disguised as British soldiers, take over a small British town to prepare for an invasion. The townsfolk give Jerry what for. A slice of wartime propaganda from Ealing studios.
British semi-propaganda film with a good cast (early role for Thora Hird) and a solid enough story. The dialogue is a little clunky at times, but overall a recommended viewing.
In Yoda's directorial début, a small British village is taken hostage by HYDRA soldiers. The propaganda is real. The sacrifices are crazy. The siege is enjoyable. The film is pretty great.
Surprisingly brutal war thriller, all to show the ends to which every patriot must go in wartime. Propagandistic no doubt, but the unflinching violence and strong ensemble and constantly shifting hierarchy of information make it a hearty potboiler even in the shoddier moments.
Such an odd framing device too: made in 1942 and largely set there, but it happens within a frame story of a man telling the tale of Bramley End after the war in an unspecified year who says the tale was kept secret throughout the war for security reasons. It'd be like if the new season of 24 had bookends taking place in 2017 claiming the events were reality.
Oh, and I'd like to bring up this…
A queer little duck, as its characters might put it—undistinguished both dramatically and formally, but endlessly fascinating as an alternate-history of WWII produced when the war's outcome was still very much in doubt. It's as if Tarantino had made Inglourious Basterds in 1942, had that film been otherwise kinda blah. Surprisingly brutal at times (albeit in the bloodless way typical of the era), with a rich sense of character; it is propaganda, though, and the necessary jingoism keeps getting in the way. (Worst offense is pure crass button-pushing, though: Heroine, who's learned who the town traitor is, discovers that he's in the house, but doesn't tell anyone, instead going to confront him alone, thereby ensuring that he'll continue to wreak havoc if she fails to kill him.) Weirdly abrupt ending contributes to a sense of something made too hurriedly and with too little thought to be more than an intriguing footnote.
Made during WW2 but felt later.
This film has its admirers and it is fascinating, but I can’t help thinking that its interests are largely historical, not aesthetic. A column of British soldiers enters a sleepy country village during the Second World War – from the beginning we know, although it takes the villagers some time to catch on, that the soldiers are in fact German infiltrators: they bring equipment to block British radio communications during a planned German invasion. Perhaps the most interesting thing here is the way the Germans are accepted without suspicion: notably Basil Sidney’s officer fits in with the respectable classes of the village – he has the right accent, talks about Oxford, has the correct manners. And there is a fifth…
Old movies are old. And still pretty awesome!
'Do you know what morale is? Yeah its what the wops ain't got'
Basic story, bunch of German spies disguised as a British Army Royal Engineers unit take over a small english village in 1942 to make preparations for a full German invasion. The villagers, including one Sailor on leave from the navy, the fussy woman at the big manor, two land army girls who happen to be crackshots with rifles, the cheeky cockney evacuee, and the fifth columnist home guardsman, must figure out how to resist the Germans and escape the village to warn the authorities.
You can probably tell how the whole film is going to go from that alone,…
Most brutal and quite harrowing film. Strange that it was in production just after Pearl Harbor attack.
I love the fact that it's the women and children in this movie that take on most of the responsibility. Both in fighting, scheming as well as taking a good brunt of the lickings... but dishing them out as well (with a hatchet).
Great fantasy/war/espionage/intrigue film that turns into a siege picture.
great little black and white film from 1942, about German paratroopers that invade an English town, its basically the same story as The Eagle has landed, if you can find this on dvd or Blu-ray give it a watch
Good film considering what it is, a propaganda piece. Keep an eye out for Jerry!
An intense, delightful film about a small British town coming together to beat Nazis to death with household objects.
An effective (and surprisingly brutal) propaganda thriller that highlights the importance of sacrifice and resolve. The stakes are well-defined and I was surprised at just how much danger even the youngest of the film's protagonists are in. Features several very good performances. Unfortunately, the characters and their arcs are a little under-served, which is why I haven't rated this movie more highly.
This is a British war film from 1942. Well, I called this a “war film” and it is to a certain extent, but it’s more accurate to call it either a thriller or a war propaganda piece. The events do not take place on a battlefield, but rather in a small village in England that gets infiltrated by Nazis in preparation for a full-scale invasion. The Nazis have disguised themselves as British soldiers that are in the village to inspect its readiness for home defense and to conduct some training. For the most part they speak perfect English and have all the mannerisms down.
We know right from the beginning who they are, so this increases the tension as they…
All the films listed in the B.F.I. book "British Trash Cinema" by I.Q. Hunter.
I've added a quite a few…
Total Run Time of 90 minutes or less. Have I seen them all? Yes, but that doesn't mean I'll vouch…