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This Land Is Mine (1943)

 -  Drama | War  -  7 May 1943 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,699 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 17 critic

A mild-mannered schoolteacher in a Nazi occupied town during WWII finds himself being torn between collaboration and resistance.

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Title: This Land Is Mine (1943)

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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

7 May 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esta Terra é Minha  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Paul Martin is trying to escape by jumping from car to car in the rail yard, one of the parked box cars to the side clearly has the Great Northern logo. While GN was a large operation, its rails didn't reach to Nazi occupied Europe. See more »

Quotes

[At Albert Lory's murder trial, the Prosecutor produces a "suicide note," proving that George Lambert killed himself. But Lory will not have it]
Albert Lory: The letter's forged, Your Honor. Major Von Keller told me last night... The prosecutor wrote that letter himself. I think he's trying to save my life.
[laughter ripples through the courtroom]
Prosecutor: This is no laughing matter! Your Honor, for the sake of the dignity of this court, I respectfully ask that the man who started that unseemly outburst be forcibly ...
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Excellent, and pointed
16 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

I can vaguely remember seeing this movie on television years ago, and recalled it as a movie with an anti-Nazi message. Seeing it again recently, and with a lifetime of reading behind me, I realize it has further depths of meaning.

Despite the pretense of being set "somewhere in Europe," it is beyond doubt that Renoir had France very specifically in mind. He was a French émigré, and it's clear that he has a message for his countrymen about the great number of them that chose to collaborate with the Germans. But the film is not a sledgehammer, in that the Germans are not portrayed as the stereotypical jackbooted thugs. Their official voice in the film, the officer played by Walter Slezak, has a silky sort of charm and shows how easy it can be to cooperate in the name of so many things - peace, order, stability, etc. etc. Laughton's final courtroom speech has so many specific references to the situation in France that it cannot be interpreted as other than such. And the final finishing touch is Laughton's last lesson to his students before being taken away

  • he reads from the "Declaration of the Rights of Man" from the French


Revolution.

Aside from that it is an excellent story very well told, and the production values are extremely high - the print I saw looked excellent even after 60-some years. The cast, of course, is superb, with Laughton, Slezak, and Maureen O'Hara. Particularly good is George Sanders, in a role very different from his stereotype as the suave and debonair cynic. The whole "mama's boy" aspect of Laughton's character is a bit heavy-handed, but it's still to watch Una O'Connor as his mother (you just can't help recalling her tavern woman's part in "The Invisible Man").

Thsi is not just an excellent movie, but an interesting historical artifact as well.


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