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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>
Finally tracked down a tape of this 1942 filming of the Nevil Shute novel, and found it quite enjoyable. Monty Woolley is perfect in the lead, a crusty Brit on vacation in Switzerland who is persuaded, with WW2 imminent, to take a friend's two small children to safety in England. Other children join the group along the way, with the German army always around the next corner, leading to an exciting finale when the group is captured by a Nazi commander, played by Otto Preminger. Among the children are Roddy MacDowall and Peggy Ann Garner, and Ann Baxter plays a French girl who helps Monty and his charges elude the Germans. (Baxter's French accent is very convincing.) Two gripes: (1) the film is shot mostly in darkness and in close quarters, and one yearns for the director to open it up. (2) The aforementioned Preminger is over the top in his portrayal - which was of course standard in 1942. But the movie is worth seeing, and worth releasing on DVD. Now to find another "lost" Nevil Shute movie: Landfall. Any suggestions?
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