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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 <email@example.com>
When the actions start on Monday morning, the shadows are too short; the scene was shot in the afternoon. See more »
[after witnessing one of the "Royal Engineers" abuse an inquisitive boy]
Oh, you great beast! You great bullying brute you, knocking a child about! You're a disgrace to your uniform! Why, you're no better than a German, - that's what you are!
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(after credits) ... and the men of the Gloucestershire Regiment, by kind permission of the War Office. See more »
This is a pretty well done piece of English wartime film, made in 1942 and clearly intended to buck up the English as they faced the possibility of a German invasion. In the story, the small village of Bramley End is occupied by German paratroopers, who infiltrate the village disguised as English troops, along with the help of a local "Quisling" named Oliver Wilsford, played by Mervyn Johns. Seen with the benefit of hindsight, the story is rather far-fetched, since there really was no serious threat of a German invasion after 1940, but of course those making the movie (and those watching it) didn't have the benefit of hindsight, and so it has to be seen for what it is: a well done bit of movie-making encouraging the English to fight back in case it did happen.
In Bramley End, a pretty good (and ultimately successful) fight was put up once the locals got over their shock, and the fight involved men, women and children; soldiers and civilians alike. The Germans (as expected) are portrayed as ruthless (although, given the context, I thought they might have been portrayed even worse than they were.) Although it clearly was propaganda to an extent, the movie didn't have what I would consider to be a typical "propaganda" feel to it, which I appreciated, and which makes it interesting rather than dated even today. Speaking from a North American perspective, I confess that at times I had a bit of trouble following the accents, but the flow of the story was clear enough in spite of this, and I thought Oliver's ultimate fate at the hands of Nora (Valerie Taylor) represented poetic justice.
The movie opens and closes with a narration which is set in the post-war era, and is perhaps the only thing that seems really out of place today, with references to Hitler getting what was coming to him (I don't think he really did) and speaking of the invasion that finally came (which it didn't.) Aside from that, though, I found this movie quite enjoyable. 7/10
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