Somewhat fictionalized account of the destruction of the village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia and the events leading up to it. In 1942, the Allies parachuted a Czech resistance fighter into the area. He quickly reunites with his former girlfriend and many of the villagers who knew him from before the war. The Nazis are evil however and under the command of Reinhardt Heydrich rule the country with an iron fist, arbitrarily arresting innocents and charging them with fictitious crimes. When Heydrich is severely wounded in a roadside attack - he dies three days later - Henrich Himmler orders the destruction of Lidice. The men are herded into a church which is set aflame and the women are sent to concentration camps. The town itself is leveled. Written by
Although this film was originally filmed by poverty-row studio Producers Releasing Corp. (PRC), the word got out in Hollywood that the picture was far and away the best thing PRC had ever done; eventually MGM executives got a look at it, were suitably impressed, bought it from PRC and it was released as an MGM picture. See more »
An interesting movie that does not do much to inspire the viewer through its portrayal of the Czech resistance, though they face a grim ending, but definitely catches the interest in the portrayal of Nazi brutality through the part played by John Carradine as Reich Protector Heydrich, who routinely had people shot in order to maintain a level of fear and control. The characterizations of the townspeople are too quaint for this subject, but they (the townspeople) do catch on as Carradine's brutality increases, with the most memorable scene being when he and his men take over a philosophy class, in a scene that manages to get fairly intense. If it were just up to Alan Curtis to carry the film as Karel Vavra, the film would fall into a dark pit of boredom, since within any resistance movement there is always collaborators within families that need to be killed. Those characters are all left out, and so the drama quotient is not very intense. Nonetheless, Carradine's Heydrich is definitely worth watching.
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