Nazi spies and soldiers in an English country village. I had forgotten how violent this Ealing film was (not by today's standards though) and enjoyed this wartime film which would have spoken strongly to most of its British viewers who lived in fear of invasion.
Looked at today as little more than anti-German propaganda (is it ever!), "Went the Day Well?" serves as one of the more memorable films of that ilk that I can recall. Hilariously cartoonish in the depictions of the Germans, this film serves as a reminder of the power that cinema has to mobilize an entire populace towards a specific goal.
When you have little old ladies axing enemies in the head and enemies bayoneting little old ladies in return, it's not your typical wartime classic. Instead, this is uncommonly tense because there really is no telling who is going to get through it unscathed (although the silly bookend gives the game away in the overall sense) and some of the deaths are downright nasty (for the time, of course). Pity then that some of the staging of the attacks and fighting and dying is pretty amateur - it could have been an exemplary example of fear-mongering propaganda otherwise.
Not too sure how or why I had not stumbled onto this before this morning. I always love a well told tale and that's exactly what is on display here. Based on a story by Graham Greene this film tells the story of the small English town of Bramely's End and what happens when Hitler's army tries to invade.
Aided by traitor, Leslie Banks (see him in a lot of these old British flicks), the German army (disguised as English…
An Ealing propaganda film made during the Second World War that sought to remind viewers of the threat posed by German fifth columnists; in this film, based on a Graham Greene story, a group of Wehrmacht soldiers infiltrates a quaint English village, tricking the villagers into thinking they are natives by employing British Army uniforms and a variety of plummy accents. It's fun, and the script is full of double entendres while the locals still remain oblivious to the Nazis…
Playing as part of the BFI's celebration of women in WWII filmmaking, this "what if" feature from Alberto Cavalcanti was actually written by a female scriptwriter working for Ealing Studios: Diana Morgan. Perhaps because of that, women shoulder much of the burden of fighting a bunch of disguised German paratroopers who one morning suddenly invade the small, sleepy English town of Brambly. There is a lot of silliness to the plot and the Nazi characters are pretty overblown, but over…
It's oddball, but what-if scenarios of this sort are sort of fundamentally bad propaganda.
'Yes, that's the only bit of England they got!'
WENT THE DAY WELL? (1942)
Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti.
Photographed by Wilkie Cooper.
Based on a story by Graham Greene.
Made as a British propagandafilm in 1942.
Cast: Leslie Banks, Mervyn Johns, Marie Lohr, Muriel George, Valerie Taylor, Thora Hird and Harry Fowler, in another of his roles as a brave young boy.
What a TERRIFIC film this is!
Not the least patronizing or preachy.
Possibly the most thoroughly entertaining and bloodthirsty film I've ever seen about small-village life in the U.K.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
One of the most shockingly violent films I recall seeing. Also the best wartime propaganda film I've seen (note: I've still not seen Triumph of the Will).
Went the Day Well? feels very much like an Ealing film. The characterisation of the small village, the chit-chat between neighbours, and the general mix of earnestness and light humour feels very familiar. When the Germans first arrive in the town disguised as British soldiers, there's little hint that anything more serious than…
Great British institution movie Went the Day Well tells the tale of a small English village being taken over by a German fifth regiment disguising themselves as Home Guard soldiers. Quite dark, violent and disturbing for the time and even has a 'Stepford Wives' vibe as the villagers fight back against the German Reich. Stiff upper lip to the fore and thoroughly entertaining stuff on this very good restoration blu ray print from the BFI.
There's a lot of love for its hidden hilariocity. There's a lot to throw disdain for that hilariocity.
A neatly cohesive execution is what it mostly needs if you went searching for within this film. Too often we have immersion and then something painfully silly such as ametur acting and editing.
I don't wish to throw the film under the nearest guillotine but I thought I'd ought to mention it.
Release the blade.