This Land Is Mine (1943)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War  |  7 May 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,846 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 18 critic

A mild-mannered school-teacher in a Nazi-occupied town during W.W.II finds himself being torn between collaboration and resistance.



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Complete credited cast:
Louise Martin
George Lambert
Walter Slezak ...
Major Erich von Keller
Kent Smith ...
Mrs. Emma Lory
Philip Merivale ...
Professor Sorel
Thurston Hall ...
Mayor Henry Manville
George Coulouris ...
Julie Grant
Ivan F. Simpson ...
Judge (as Ivan Simpson)
John Donat ...
Edmund Lorraine


In a Nazi-occupied French town, meek and mild-mannered teacher Albert Lory lives with his mother. Few people, including his students, have any respect for him and he literally shakes in his boots during an air raid. He is quite friendly with his fellow teacher, Louise Martin and her brother Paul who also happen to be neighbors. If truth be told, Albert is quite in love with Louise but she is in a relationship with George Lambert and he feels she is quite beyond his reach. Paul is a member of the resistance and is killed when Lambert informs the Nazis. Outraged at what he's done, Albert arrives at Lambert's office just as the informer commits suicide. Albert is charged with murder but the local Nazi commander, Major Erich von Keller, offers him a deal: if Albert agrees to remain silent rather then continue a speech in his own defense which is arousing fellow citizens, he will ensure a not guilty verdict. Albert returns to the courtroom and in an act of bravery urges his fellow citizens... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


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Release Date:

7 May 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esta Terra é Minha  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The book that Laughton begins reading to his students at the end of the movie is "The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" (French: Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen), a fundamental document of the French Revolution. See more »


After the initial credits, there is a notation "Somewhere in Europe ...". All the signs and notices are in English so there is no specific country identified this way. The film could be set in Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Norway or any of the other occupied territories. However, when Professor Sorel, Louise Martin and Albert Lory examine the school textbooks for what must be removed, all the references are to French history and literature, squarely placing the film in France. See more »


Professor Sorel: It's very difficult surgical operation. Cut the heart out without killing the patient. The history of our country, however, is a very tough old patient, and we'll do the best we can.
See more »


Featured in Cinema: Alguns Cortes - Censura II (2014) See more »


Die Lorelei
(1838) (uncredited)
Music by Friedrich Silcher (1838)
Poem by Heinrich Heine (1823)
Played on accordion by Kent Smith and sung by the German soldiers
See more »

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User Reviews

Anti-Nazi film about a timid teacher becomes involved into the actions of the resistance and charged with murder
19 June 2013 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

One of greatest anti-war films with memorable acting from Charles Laughton , Maureen O'Hara and George Sanders . It's a moving reflexion about war , sacrifice and death . A mild-mannered schoolteacher (Charles Laughton) in a Nazi occupied town during WWII finds himself being torn between collaboration and resistance . He is quite friendly with his fellow teacher , Louise Martin (Maureen O'Hara) and her brother Paul (Kent Smith ) . Meanwhile , at school and street many prohibited books, considered "un-German," were broken or burned in the book-burning pile . Albert is charged with murder but the local Nazi commander, Major Erich Von Keller (Walter Slezak) , offers him a deal . At the end the teacher begins reading to his students "The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" (French: Déclaration Des Droits l'Homme Et Du Citoyen), a fundamental document of the French Revolution.

This is an excellent classic anti-war movie and deals about sacrifice , collaboration , comradeship , human relations and in which a shy man is drawn into the actions of the resistance . A heart-breaker and elegiac movie in the way it shows war undercutting and qualities of a timid but good teacher . This is a well-paced , deliberate and magnetic drama set in WWII . It is a riveting film dealing with thought-provoking issues , wonderful acting and anti-Nazi denounce . Anyway, the film is very interesting , thematically intriguing and brooding . Time has not diminished its qualities nor its charming to the emotions . Interesting performances enhance an eloquent screenplay by Dudley Nichols . Impressive defense final speech , though propaganda , which is arousing the citizens in court . The film opened simultaneously at 72 theaters in 50 key cities on 7 May 1943, setting a box office record for gross receipts on an opening day. Excellent acting by the great Charles Laughton , giving a remarkable , self-effecting performance as a coward , mild-mannered teacher who is drawn into the actions of the resistance . Very good support cast includes extraordinary actors as George Sanders as George Lambert , Walter Slezak as Major Erich Von Keller , Kent Smith as Paul Martin and special mention to Una O'Connor as mother at a sympathetic though exaggerated interpretation .

The film is excellently screen-written and directed by Jean Renoir who approach the intensity and feel of his best works. Son of painter impressionist Auguste Renoir , was perhaps the best of French directors . At its initial French period he directed classics as ¨Boudu saved drowning, Rules of the game, Marseillaise, Day in the country¨ and of course ¨Grand Illusion¨ in which his optimism remains relentless . Renoir was in Hollywood for seven years, where he made ¨Swamp water, Southerner, Diary of chambermaid, This land is mine,and Woman on the beach¨. He returned France where directed other classic films as ¨Carrozza dóro, Testament Dr Cordelier, Picnic on the grass, Vanishing corporal¨ and several others. His films have influenced on Francois Truffaut, Luchino Visconti, Satyajit Ray , among them. Rating : above average, an extraordinary and sensational film.

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