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Kevin James Dobson
The residents of a British village during WWII welcome a platoon of soldiers who are to be billeted with them. The trusting residents then discover that the soldiers are Germans who proceed to hold the village captive. Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Alberto Cavalcanti's outstanding piece of wartime propaganda is worthy of Hitchcock at his best. It's a surprisingly bleak and sometimes vicious study of British resilience, light years away from the dull Hollywood sentimentality of "Mrs Miniver". It's about a group of Fifth Columnists who take over a small British village in 1942 in preparation for the German invasion and of how the villagers fight back.
It has all the usual stereotypical villagers, (the post-mistress, the squire etc), but these clichéd parts are turned on their heads with surprisingly suspenseful results. Good performances, too, from everybody in a film that is largely undervalued, certainly in this country where we are inclined to acknowledge our 'heroism' but draw the line at going beyond that, as this film does, somewhat uncomfortably.
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