Went the Day Well? (1942) Poster

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A credible representation of what could well have happened.
JBall7548710 September 2001
I saw 'Went the Day Well' in 1943, as a 12 year old in war-time England.What I remember most about the film is that it was utterly convincing, both in the authenticity of the setting and the quality of the acting,My friends and I were, of course, perhaps less sophisticated and streetwise than the 12 year olds of today, nevertheless, the film left a lasting impression and I, at least, can remember it in a fair amount of detail, even after the passage of nearly sixty years. The least convincing part to us was the fight between the soldiers,English and German, towards the end of the film,located in and around the church - perhaps this was because we had watched too many carefully staged propanganda epics belittling the ability of the Germans ! All in all,though, a film which brought home the fact that the freedom we take for granted can so easily be lost unless we are eternally vigilant.
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10/10
A brief review of "Went the Day Well"
Nick007-225 September 1999
For a film made in 1942 this film is fairly hard hitting as it does not shy away from the realities and emotions of warfare. The plot gradually gains pace and the atmosphere is tense as the ordinary English folk rally round to face the professional soldiers of Nazi Germany. The quality of acting is superb throughout and although there are signs of propaganda, it is kept to a minimum and is not overly biased. Highly recommended and very cheap to buy (at least in England it is).
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Rare propaganda film which ages well
ianginge23 March 2004
1942. That is the important date to bear in mind when watching this film. That was when the film was made, and when the UK cinema auidences watching it knew that all that separated them from invasion was a few miles of sea. Imagine the impact it must have had!! Plucky Brits, living in the rural English idyll, threatened by the Hun. Having witnessed their brave fight, the auidences must have come out of the flicks wanting to take on the German army on their own. The comparisons with 'The Eagle Has Landed' are easy to make, but just remember that date of 1942. The threat was real to the people watching it, unlike those watching 'The Eagle' for the very first time. Cracking afternoon entertainment, with a message of its time.
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Superb British Propaganda Film
Glenn Walsh11 December 2002
I have only managed to see 'Went The Day Well' twice and it is an absolute gem, but one that probably wouldn't appeal to many people nowadays. The events are believable and I am sure this film was very effective as wartime propaganda. Superior to 'The Eagle Has Landed,' which definitely shares many elements, starting with the soldiers graves at the beginning of the films. Excellent stuff.
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Excellent wartime thriller – rises way above it's propaganda roots
bob the moo2 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
In war time England a group of Engineers are sent to a typically quiet and picturesque English village. However in reality they are an elite group of German soldiers with instructions to secure the village in preparation for a stealth German invasion in several days time. When one of the villagers suspects something is amiss the Germans seize the village and take the residents hostage. With the Home Guard dead the villagers plan to alert the outside world. I watched this film simply because it sounded very familiar to Higgins' The Eagle Has Landed and was curious to see how closely his book 'borrowed' from this. I expected this to be a hollow piece of propaganda given the period and the 'German threat in the homelands' warning to those back home. However this is vastly better than many of the war time movies that merely push an anti-Nazi message. This is actually exciting and is all the better for sudden moments of violence that are genuinely exciting. The heroes get killed! Little old ladies are forced into violent acts and sacrifice that I just didn't expect. One split second scene was so sudden and unexpected that I literally gasped! Of course it can't do this for the whole film and for the most part it is just entertaining – as if that's nothing! It lacks the violence of modern war films but the 1940's English atmosphere to the movie just makes the action and the tense feel even more pronounced. The cast are roundly good. The Germans start well but do give in to brutal stereotype before the film is very old. Leslie Banks is excellent, playing against type to great effect and the village cast are all very good including a few famous faces including Harry Fowler and, even more amusingly, Thora Hird. Overall I really enjoyed this. At it's heart it's an enjoyable propaganda piece with a thriller story. However it is stacked with sufficient moments of surprise or unexpected violence to make it stand out from the crowd.
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Great, shocking, little-known British wartime drama.
bensonj7 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This film, made when the invasion of Britain was a real possibility, shows what might have happened if the Germans sent an advance force disguised as British soldiers. One expects, in a highly praised wartime drama that's been called brutal, that the Jerries are going to be pretty nasty. But what gives this film its incredible punch, its real power to shock, is in how the ordinary British civilians fight back. This is especially highlighted in three incredible set-pieces that feature typical small-town women, which I hesitate to describe, since the surprise and suddenness is part of the shock. One is unexpectedly killed. The other two kill the intruders with unflinching violence. But it's not just the ferocity of the violence, it's detail of the events, the editing and timing, the development of the characters through little details, the particularity of the sequences, and the realistic reactions of the characters to their own violence that makes the events seem quite real. One sequence involves the vicar's daughter, a thin, plain woman with a forceful personality. She discovers the plot, and finds that the village man who she may have a romantic interest in is a quisling. She deliberately takes a gun, accuses him, and shoots him. Yet, though she's apparently calm and takes steady aim, after the first shot she's enveloped in hysteria, firing again and again as though at a giant alien slug. In fact, in many ways this film bears an uncanny resemblance to the (original) INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS; a small town suddenly taken over by people who look familiar, act familiar, but who, inside, are deeply alien. Of course, this startling effect is achieved at the expense of a certain realism. This troop of 60 or more Germans don't just speak English, they speak the British idiom well enough to fool these canny locals. Their uniforms, their background stories, all are good enough to withstand the extended scrutiny of billeting with families, at least for awhile. The Germans couldn't have found enough men to pull this off, and wouldn't have taken the enormous effort required if they could. Such effort might be expended on one spy, but not on an invading force, which could conceivably have worn British uniforms but only to confuse the enemy in troop movements, etc. The success of the film lies in its details and its ability to draw sharp characterizations of the people in the small town, real people that go beyond standard character-types. It's possible to overpraise the film; it's just a bit flabby here and there, and the sequences showing the failures of various attempts to warn people outside the village are rather too cute. But it's successes are so spectacular that it's a must see!
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10/10
Suspenseful and inspiring.
jennyp-23 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
The picture begins with a narrator telling how it came to be that a number of Germans are buried here in the graveyard in the quiet English village of Bramley Green. The events that occurred there in the spring of 1942 are then shown in flashback: A platoon of British soldiers arrive who are to be billeted in the village for a few days. Residents are cooperative and gracious, providing lodging and food from their already rationed supply. Before long, suspicions arise. Why do the soldiers write the figure seven with a cross stroke? Why does one of them have a bar of Viennese chocolate? Slowly the community realizes that the enemy is in their midst: the British soldiers are actually German paratroopers. The villagers are rounded up and locked in the church and several attempts to get word to the outside world are thwarted. Then it is discovered that the village squire (Leslie Banks) is a traitor aiding the Nazis. The vicar's daughter (Valerie Taylor) boldly shoots him, the postmistress (Muriel George) whacks her captor over the head with an ax, and the rest of the town joins suit until reinforcements finally arrive. Based on a story by Graham Greene. This film was shown at Cinefest in Syracuse NY in March 2003 and was the hit of the festival. I hope it will be released on home video soon.
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An intelligent propaganda film that deserves to be seen (spoilers)
Jim Griffin25 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Went The Day Well is a British propaganda piece from the Second World War that manages to find depth beyond it message. The plot is inventive and, for the most part, chillingly convincing. Beginning at an unknown time in its future, the film starts with a quaint talking-to-camera moment as the audience is welcomed to the village of Bramley End. From there, we are taken back to a wartime Whit Sunday, as a troop of soldiers come to the village to set up their defences. We soon realise that the soldiers are not English, but German, and with the co-operation of a respected member of the community are preparing to take the village as the first step of a country-wide invasion. With fifty years of hindsight and no first-hand experience of life on the home front, the danger can hardly be imagined, and the fear it must have inspired in the contemporary audience cannot be reproduced. But while its power is no doubt diminished, it still works as a tense and involving thriller.

There are a few weak points that undermine its credibility; the Germans' English is probably too perfect and they seem too familiar with colloquialisms, and having a radio operator who can barely understand English wasn't the brightest idea, but these are minor complaints against a film that is plausible throughout.

Given its release date, it is rather daring in its depiction of the Nazi soldiers, showing them as evil but not sadistic. It could easily have gone down the route of having them rape and murder the villagers for their own amusement, but it shows restraint in having them kill only those who are seen as immediate threats to their plan. Indeed, there is a cutting reference to the exaggerated propaganda that shows Nazis happily sticking babies on pitchforks. There is balance, too, in its depiction of the French. While two characters discuss their early surrender we are given both points of view; first condemnation for their perceived cowardice, then sympathy at the realisation that they are now living under Nazi rule, a fate deserved by no one. To find such balance in a mid-war movie is refreshing.

The characters are warm and convincing, if a little clichéd, and there is a genuine sense of community within the village that helps us to feel sorrow for the few that are murdered. Here, again, the film shows a degree of courage in killing off the best characters without hesitation. A particularly touching moment comes when one of the villagers realises the man she loves is the traitor, and knows she has to stop him herself. Without the depth of characterisation, this would have meant nothing.

Cynicism would tell us to laugh at how it champions the courage of normal people, but such thoughts should be ignored and replaced with respect for those who lived through a horror we can barely imagine. To its generation, Went the Day Well was a warning to be ever vigilant; to ours it is a tense thriller that reminds us how lucky we are. It can hardly be called a classic, but it seems a shame that, at the time of writing, there are no other comments or reviews on the database. It is inventive, thoughtful, tense, funny, and charming, and deserves to be held in higher regard.
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"yes the day good went"
simonrosenbaum9 November 2002
A still chilling story of german invasion to an ordinary sleepy english village sixty years ago. This brilliantly captured the very real possibility of what could have happened during the first years of world war 2. If you tend to stay away from "older" films because they're too distant and difficult to relate to I strongly recommend this, the characters are believable and the way the story is told is very realistic and not at all sentimental. There are some quite powerful scenes which are quite shocking and totally unexpected in a film this old. (9/10)
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9/10
It went very well
AndrewPhillips1 June 2006
Now I am a sucker for "what if" stories, and what better to have Germans occupying an English village during the war.

What we have in this gem of a film is a great story, we see the villagers pull together and overcome the foe in heroic fashion. We are not spared the horrors of war, I think particularly of the scene when the telephone operator having summoned the courage to kill her German captor is killed trying to contact someone for help, you don't see anything but because of that it is all the more powerful. You are on the edge of your seat hoping the eggs with the message on will get through. We see a lady driving in her car, singing to herself, we then cut to the home guard being mown down on the road, their bodies cleared just as the woman drives round the corner. The two scenes together make for a powerful contrast. Bloody good stuff.

The pace continues through the film at such a rate that you do find yourself on the edge of the seat, the acting is great, though some may find the clipped English accent a little annoying, I liked the fact that there are a number of different accents from cockney to Yorkshire all making the "in it together" message more powerful. When the villagers start to fight back we get to see some hero's, none more so than the lady at the manor house who to save the children throws herself onto a grenade, I remember seeing this scene for the first time and being very moved by it, and every time I watch it again it has the same effect.

As a piece of propaganda it must have worked like a dream as a film it is well made and acted, what more could you want. Even more impressive is that it has aged very little.
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9/10
Surprisingly dark
Martin Bradley9 September 2008
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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no sign of age
toonnnnn8 October 2003
A splendid movie well acted and directed, the story grips you from the start,the film includes self sacrifice and treacherous behaviour.The pace of the movie is fantastic not a dull moment.There is one scene which shows that ordinary decent people when cornered can fight back with a fierce tenacity when their homeland is threatened.This movie is the inspiration behind the eagle has landed and i think it would be a hit if it was remade.
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6/10
"Went The Day Well" vs "The Eagle Has Landed"
reindeer2uk6 December 2005
I can't help but think of the similarities between this film and the later production "The Eagle Has Landed" based on the novel by Jack Higgins. Both films concern the capture of a sleepy English village by crack German paratroopers disguised as members of an allied force. In both stories the villagers are herded into the church and held captive, although the duration of captivity in the latter production is relatively short. Also, in the Higgins story, the objective of the German troops is the capture of Winston Churchill, not acting as an advance party probing weaknesses prior to the conquest of Britain.

The beauty of "Went The Day Well" is that is of its time, and the product of a country that was still at war, and reflects the concerns of the British wartime population. If you have an interest in World War Two and like black and white films, then by all means see this film.
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8/10
Well made propaganda piece with a surprisingly meaty story
MrGeorgeKaplan22 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Despite its rather tortuous title this is a great piece of British WWII propaganda with a simple message: The Nazis are a bunch of child-murdering blackguards, and we Brits will see through their dastardly plans and overcome them using our doughty pluck and the intelligence of our womenfolk and children.

The film begins with the arrival of a sizeable detachment of British troops arriving in a sleepy village which is coping admirably with the rigours of rationing and getting by without their menfolk, who are away fighting. However, it soon transpires that the British troops are, in fact a crack team of German paratroopers who have come to jam British radar in preparation for the invasion. Not only that but the local lord of the manor is a dastardly fifth columnist. The women of the village become suspicious of the newcomers due to the funny way they write numerals and the fact that they have German chocolate with them. This is all to no avail though as everyone takes their worries to the traitorous squire.

As it is a propaganda piece, the ending comes as no surprise. What is interesting though is the subversion of the class system: the dodgy poacher and his little scamp of a sidekick who are the true heroes, where the 'officer class' of the village are portrayed as either incompetent or downright villainous. The film was based on a Graham Greene story, and his perfect observation of the British way of life is superbly translated to the screen.

Compared to the other, more famous propaganda films (I'm thinking here of Humphrey Jennings), the quality of production (film stock, sound, lighting etc.) is very high, and it is hard to imagine that this was made in a time of war.
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8/10
Its Unexpected Violence Causes It to Project with Particular Prominence
jzappa15 January 2009
In WWII England a troop of surveyors are dispatched into a characteristically happy-go-lucky and scenic village, though really they are a select assemblage of German officers with orders to seize control of the township on the horizon of a covert German attack in a few days. Director Alberto Cavalcani is smart. Rather than this information creeping up on us like a twist, we grasp this from the start. When one of the villagers grows suspicious, we are in an enhanced state of tension. The Germans hijack the parish, a handful among which refuse to lose hope of alerting the unsuspecting free world around them.

Do not make the mistake of presuming that it is an insincere propaganda yarn, considering its era. This is in fact quite an electrifying tale of survival. If so many can overlook the propaganda of obsolete films like Battleship Potemkin, there is certainly room for this picture. It stands out, owing much to its unexpected flashes of violence that are sincerely exhilarating and often frank and uncompromising in terms of the drama. It is not gritty like most modern war films. The quaintly timeless English ambiance, and the consistent theme of it maintaining its spry morale, is a clever and natural juxtaposition to the taut aggression of the conflict, which is thus more well-defined. The relatively unfamiliar cast is plainly high- quality.

At its hub, yes, it's a work of propaganda exploiting a thriller story to enrapture its WWII-era British spectators. But mind you, it is based on a story by English writer and WWII MI6 spy Graham Greene. Nevertheless, the English were righteous in that war, remaining the only European country the Germans intended to occupy but never could. This piece grows to be as riveting as any other good movie, and what's more, its unexpected violence causes it to project with particular prominence.
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8/10
During WWII, the villagers of Bromley End do what they must to defend not just themselves, but England
Terrell-48 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Went the Day Well? is one of the British war movies made during WWII that were meant to strengthen morale and inspire steadfastness. The little English village of Bromley End welcomes a large number of Royal Engineers who are to work on a secret project. However, the Royal Engineers in reality are English-speaking German soldiers in British uniforms, parachuted into England to set up a counter radar apparatus which will disrupt England's radar network.

Gradually the villagers begin to suspect things aren't right, and then realize what they're dealing with. The Germans cordon off the village and show their true, ruthless nature. The villagers need to break through the cordon to alert authorities and get help. They also decide they must take action themselves to stop the Germans. This is complicated because the village houses a traitor. The climax is the Battle of Bromley End, with British Home Guard troops arriving while the Germans, attacking the manor house where they must set up their equipment, are held off by the brave men and women of the village.

If you're fond of older Brit movies you'll recognize some fine actors: Leslie Banks, David Farrar, Thora Hird, Basil Sydney, Mervyn Johns. The film is a well-constructed and effective bit of wartime home-front propaganda.
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8/10
Classic wartime morale booster!
Jon Wilson (jonw)2 September 1999
This story of German covert action in a quiet English village deserves to be better known. It has a multi-threaded plotline, great characterisation and acting, real tension, and (for it's time) pulls no punches in its depiction of violence. If you want a film that captures the mood of Britain as an island alone against Hitler, don't watch "The Eagle has Landed" - watch this!
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10/10
Tense wartime drama.
kevin_crighton29 August 2010
When a group of soldiers arrive in a small village in England during WW2, it's soon revealed that they are in fact German soldiers in disguise, and soon the villagers have to fight back to save themselves....

Made in 1942 as a British propaganda film, Went The Day Well? is not your typical war movie. Until the climax of the film, there isn't a lot of action in it. And when the action does start, it's not soldiers versus soldiers, but villagers versus soldiers.

The cleverness of the tale, is in the way it is little details that give away the fact the soldiers are German (including a line through the number seven - which I do!).

While the script does show its age in some of the language, and some of the performances come over a bit wooden looking at it now, the film still has a lot of power, thanks to the direction of Alberto Cavalcanti. And while the action may not be as dramatic of other films of its type, it still builds to a tense and gripping climax.

Bookended by a couple of scenes that are supposed to be after the war, it works well as the propaganda film it was always meant to be. Taken as a war-set film, it is still one of my favourites, and I think a classic.
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9/10
wonderful movie
foghorn4630 September 2006
I also saw this movie uncut on T.V. Ontario. I could not change channel. I found it very entertaining. This would be one I'd love to own and am just sorry that I did not use my p.v.r. to record it. I liked the idea of using the boy to go for help. I just wonder how a man could live with himself knowing he was betraying his friends and his country. I thought it very fitting for the woman who discovered he was a German to use one of the Germans' guns to kill him.

Who was the narrator at the beginning and end? I'd like to know more about him.

Everyone says it is propaganda.Did not the Germans also have their own propaganda? Propaganda or not I am glad I saw it.
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7/10
Good English Wartime Movie
sddavis6325 March 2008
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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German spies masquerade as British soldiers to surprise an English rural village
David Mullineux31 August 1999
Excellent example of war-time moral-boosting British cinema. Bramley is a quiet rural village in 1942. A platoon of British soldiers arrives unexpectedly to "review" the civil defence procedures of the local home guard. The villagers soon suspect that there is something strange about these soldiers. They write the number 7 "in the continental way". Attempts to signal for help are ruthlessly defeated by the stereotypical cruel Nazi soldiers. Enjoyable - when you remember the context in which it was filmed See if you can spot actress Thora Hird.
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As good as they say (spoiler alert)
lucy-1910 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This film is also about class - about the way everybody pulled together during the war. Also, people were uprooted and sent from Manchester to work on the

land down south (the Thora Hird character). The way British people speak

varies so much that the German's stiltedness wouldn't be so unexpected.

But despite the "we're all in this together" atmosphere it's taken for granted that the "officers" are invited to dinner by the lady of the big house along with the vicar and his daughter (beautifully acted) and Oliver Wilsford, the traitor. It's never explained what his "cover" is - he just lives in the village, probably on private means. He may dabble in art (look at the murals in his sitting room).
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8/10
An unseen gem
evan-197 August 2002
This superbly rendered propaganda film must have been seen by a young Jack Higgins as so many elements appear in his novel and subsequent film of the classic "Eagle Has Landed" -- albeit the much more sympathetic presentation of the Germans in the latter.

The really creepy thing about this film is that the Nazis, although unquestionably evil, show more restraint against their civilian prisoners than Bob Kerrey showed in Vietnam or that the "Dirty Dozen" showed against the female Germans they burn alive in the climax of that insanely over-praised flick.
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8/10
A remarkable historical artifact
Tony Bush14 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A latterly controversial propaganda piece that even today represents a powerful, if transparently manipulative slice of British wartime filmmaking.

Taken from a story by Graham Greene, the premise sees a chocolate box English country village, packed to the brim with staunch salt of the earth types from various strata of the class system, which plays host to a troop of Nazi invaders disguised as regular Tommies. The locals soon rumble the dastardly plan and gradually, as the bulldog spirit inevitably blooms and swells, turn the tables on their oppressors and merrily chop, shoot, stab, strangle, punch and grenade the evil Hun interlopers into submission – well, death really.

The villagers – from the lady of the manor to the lowly poacher and the local postmistress – are hewn from ye olde stout oak of English courage and fortitude, every man jack of 'em. The Nazi troops are evil, barbaric, baby-bayoneting, child-murdering dictators through and through. They have no redeeming features whatsoever. They are uniformly inhuman.

Many of the villagers get blown away – main characters die indiscriminately – but they all cop it doing their duty and performing deeds of selfless heroism or flag-waving moral defiance. The Germans buy it because they deserve to, and that's reason enough here.

The controversy heaped on the film in later times stems from it being so amazingly subversive in its approach along with the gleeful degree of sadistic violence suggested on screen. In one scene the local postmistress throws pepper in the eyes of a Nazi trooper and then whacks him into the next world with an axe. She is subsequently brutally transfixed with a bayonet when another Nazi walks in on the scene. Earlier the local vicar is shot point blank in the church by a Nazi officer – no concept of sanctuary or God, you see? There's more, much more, but it's best to see and enjoy (or not) for yourself.

I love this film on two levels. Firstly, as a remarkable historical artifact depicting a fantasy England that never was and never will be. It smartly dupes you into wanting to believe that this is just the way it was and truly should have been. You end up thinking maybe it was a lot like this back then. Even though you know full well it wasn't. Secondly, it's a bloody good crack. It demonises and dehumanises the enemy of old and is more black and white than hot tar on a freshly laundered bed sheet. There is plenty of action and slaughter, and even though it's tame by modern standards due to a lack of explicit visuals, what it suggests by leaving sight unseen is a force to be reckoned with. There is no doubt who to root for. On the one hand a group of righteous, good, humane, patriotic and caring folk (us). On the other, a bunch of irredeemably evil bastards out to butcher you and your kids (them). Clear enough.

Racist, bigoted, xenophobic, prejudiced and wholly simplistic. But in the context of the times, perhaps not without some justification. And possibly one of the best British war films ever made. Seek it out.
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7/10
Propaganda classic
Leofwine_draca15 January 2012
An ahead-of-its-time film if ever there was one, WENT THE DAY WELL? is still a chilling wartime thriller even watched today. It begins deceptively genteel, with Mervyn Johns talking to the camera (a great device) and leading us into a story which times out to be both hard hitting and inspirational.

Like the later film, THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, this fictional movie poses the 'what if?' question - what if the much-mooted Nazi invasion of England had really taken place? The answer is limited to a single rural village in the English countryside which soon finds itself taken over by ruthless German soldiers.

What follows is expertly paced and supremely directed, with the villagers harried, hassled and murdered and eventually fighting back against their oppressors. It's still a violent and grim film, with axe murders, knifings and all manner of shootings put on the screen, although in my mind a scene involving a hand grenade marks the most shocking moment. An excellent cast, topped by THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME's Leslie Banks as a sinister collaborater, help make this a British classic.
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