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The Foreman Went to France (1942)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, War | 22 June 1942 (UK)
Based on the true story of Melbourne Johns, an aircraft factory foreman sent to France to prevent the Nazis getting hold of some vital equipment.



(original narrative by) (as J. B. Priestley), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Tommy Trinder ...
Tommy Hoskins, 19th Fusillers
Anne Stafford, the American girl
Fred Carrick, the foreman
Mayor Coutare of Bivary
Alastair 'Jock' MacFarlan, 19th Fusillers
Ernest Milton ...
Stationmaster in La Tour
Charles Victor ...
Aircraft Spotter on Works Roof
'English' Army Captain
Paul Bonifas ...
Prefect of Rouville
Anita Palacine ...
La Tour Barmaid
Francis L. Sullivan ...
French Skipper (as François Sully)


Based on the true story of Melbourne Johns, an aircraft factory foreman sent to France to prevent the Nazis getting hold of some vital equipment. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama | War


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 June 1942 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Somewhere in France  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bill Blewitt and Gordon Jackson also appeared in 'Nine Men' together, released a year later. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: This picture is dedicated to Melbourne Johns. He is the foreman who went to France, and our story is based on his adventures. See more »

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User Reviews

What a winner! Give this WWII film all the stars it can get!
13 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

As usual, totally unlike anything of WWII we see here in America. I watched this film to see Robert Morley, a fave when I was little, only to find he was in a bit, uninteresting role as a French mayor, but the rest of the movie was a wonderful surprise. Based on a true story, Clifford Evans is a factory foreman who journeys to France to retrieve three valuable machines which, if they fell into German hands, would give the Germans an advantage. While he sits in a diner at the train station, the village is evacuated, but he doesn't understand what is happening. He journeys on to the town where the machines are and meets secretary Constance Cummings, an American actress by birth but more popular on British stage, playing a neutral American who is destroying classified documents. She agrees to serve as his translator to get the machines to the coast and she will stop off at her sister's, who also was in France. They enlist the aid of two British soldiers, Tommy Trinder (four stars for him alone as the comedy relief) and Gordon Jackson who have a British army lorry to transport the machines. Our group then further picks up six war orphans, the nun whose care they were in 'is sleeping' after they are attacked by German planes firing upon the fleeing French refugees.

This movie never disappointed. It takes place even before Pearl Harbor, so our heroes are totally oblivious to much of the horrors of war to come. Their only purpose is to get the machines back to England however possible. Never beaming with patriotism or heroic virtue, I was halfway through it when I began to think some of our friends may not be alive by the end of the film. The only flaw, . . . the only FLAW, was the foreman's inability to know when to keep his mouth shut! He is shown at the beginning as a fast talker who gets through all the red tape to go to France and get the machines, but he says too much later on, not once but twice, failing to learn from the first time that he gave out too much information. I'm not the most observant person, but when he told the wrong person about the British army lorry, I knew he had said too much again. Still it was a delightful old film with no Hollywood feel or stars and focused on an incident as only persons this close as England could have known about it. At one moment, the foreman Fred Carrick (the real foreman who the movie is based on was named Melbourne Johns), tells a French sea captain "Please thank your people for us. We owe so much to them." The captain responds, "We shall owe everything to your country, monsieur. When France lives again." And this was when the war was still going strong. What a wonderful, powerful entertaining film.

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