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Englishman Mr Howard is on a fishing holiday in eastern France when the Germans invade in 1940. Setting off to try and get back home he is persuaded to take along the two Cavanaugh children, and as his journey progresses his family keeps growing in size. Once in German-occupied northern France a new problem arises - the risk of being heard speaking English. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have to admit it...I like Monty Woolley. You can count on the old curmudgeon to make any movie worth watching, Woolley is definitely one of the classic screen's best scene stealers!
In "The Pied Piper" Woolley plays an Englishman who is visiting France when the Germans invade in 1940. Realizing his place is back home, he packs up and begins his trek to England...but with the unwelcome addition of 2 French children (Roddy McDowall and Peggy Ann Garner) whose parents fear for their safety in Nazi-occupied France.
But what should be a relatively easy journey turns into a nightmare, as French civilization crumbles around them. Every time Woolley and his companions face a crisis, another desperate child joins the group, until he finds himself the leader of quite a menagerie.
Others in the cast include Anne Baxter as "Nicole," who helps Wooley outsmart the German occupiers and Otto Preminger as "Major Diesson," the ranking Nazi who also finds he has use for Woolley and his children.
"The Pied Piper" doesn't shy away from the grim realities of war and the suffering it imposes on everyone, both young and old. One can only imagine the impact this film had on moviegoers in 1942. The film was released just 7 months after Pearl Harbor.
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