It is easy to forget how many great films and filmmakers Britain has produced over the years. Here are my…
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 their plans. (Based on a short story by Graham Greene - Brighton Rock, The Third Man)
Alberto Cavalcanti, Britain, 4/10
Remember when I said British WW2 movies have held up better than Hollywood's? Me neither. This is an "Ealing war movie" and if that sounds iconographically odd, this film explains why -- it's a cosy, "fubsy" little war film. The premise is inherently tense, the iconographic "English village" types are well-inhabited, and some scenes resonate (the first villager violence, attack on Home Guard), and it works well as a parable of appeasement and the putting-behind of a certain kind of "30s toff" leadership that produced it in favor of Common Man (of all classes). But the framing device is a structurally ruinous decision -- the start of it spoils any real suspense in how story will…
Don't make the mistake of presuming that it is an insincere propaganda yarn. This is an electrifying tale of survival. It stands out, owing much to its unexpected flashes of violence that are sincerely exhilarating and often frank and uncompromising. The quaint English ambiance, maintaining its spry morale, is a clever and natural juxtaposition to the taut aggression of the conflict, which is thus more well-defined. The relatively unfamiliar cast is plainly high-quality.
Based on a short story by Graham Greene this 1942 drama centres on a small English village which finds itself overrun by Nazi paratroopers in the lead up to a German invasion.
While it is a product of its time with RADA and BBC accents to the fore, modern audiences may be struck by the willingness of the filmmakers to realistically portray some of the brutality such a circumstance would have precipitated.
Whilst clearly a propaganda film at heart (the quiet heroism of the villagers is truly affecting at times) this is neither hysterical nor an unrealistic representation of a country at war. Its difficult for us to imagine what an audience in 1942 would make of it. Three years…
Based on a short story by Graham Greene this film from Alberto Cavalcanti stars Leslie Banks and Basil Sydney. During the Second World War a small village in England is held hostage by Germans ahead of a planned invasion.
This is an interesting piece of British war time propaganda that captures both a snap shot of rural village life but also how people of the time considered invasion a very real threat. What is excellent about the film is that when it comes to the violence and action sequences it pulls no punches with serious consequences for the villagers who resist. Rather than being a scaremonger this film manages to walk the thin line between propaganda, boosting morale and realism.
WWII British Propaganda movie about German sleeper cell in the British countryside. Written by Graham Greene, it's surprisingly tense and plays out much like the middle part of Inglourious Basterds.
Interesting concept that I would like to see re-explored, but the original didn't really do it for me.
Went the Day Well? Very well, thanks to this terrific movie! The film does take a while to get going - first setting up the small town community and all its character - but as soon as the Nazis take control of the town the film grips your throat and never lets go. Although it's a film from 1942 it contains one of the most shocking scenes of war I've ever encountered. The scene involves a character getting blown up by a hand grenade - we don't see it in its graphic detail as we would nowadays, but the scene is so well done that we can instantly imagine it in vivid detail and the scene is all the more powerful for it. When the film is over you'll be ready and raring to defend your own home from those bloody Jerries.
Película propagandística de la segunda guerra mundial, mostrando la secreta invasión de un pueblito inglés por soldados alemanes. La eventual respuesta por parte de los pobladores es emocionante y satisfactoria.
An incisive mix of the blackest comedy, violent propaganda and subversive conspiracy, Went The Day Well is something of a hidden gem of British cinema, as stout British villagers refuse to be used as the entry point for a German invasion.
While it feels like an entertaining history lesson now, one can only imagine the terror it induced in audiences watching under the very real threat of invasion in the early 40's.
German soldiers take over a small English village ahead of a planned invasion. The execution isn't always believable (these Germans sure know their English accents) but I really didn't mind much. This was made when WW2 was still raging on and some wartime propaganda films have a certain charm about them that I often enjoy, I had a very good time with this.
- Secrets & Lies
- Made in Britain
- This Sporting Life
- Last Resort
- My Summer of Love
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Trouble in Paradise
- The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums
- The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
- Bicycle Thieves
- A Matter of Life and Death
- The Red Shoes
- The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
- Beauty and the Beast
Another wonderful decade, particularly because Powell & Pressburger were at the peaks of their creative powers.
Other lists in the series:…