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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 1,685 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 singing of "Die Lorelei" by the German soldiers was a subtle dig at the anti-semitic regime of the Nazis, since the words were written by banned Jewish poet Heinrich Heine. Many of his books, considered "un-German," were burned in the book-burning episode at Opernplatz, Berlin, Germany, on 10 May 1933. However, his works were so popular that they were still published, but "author unknown" was the listed writer. In his 1821 play "Almansor," Heine also prophetically wrote "Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen." ("Where they burned books, they will in the end in burn people.") See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning, Albert pours himself a glass of milk, drinks over half the glass and sets the glass down on the table. In the next shot, the glass is full again. In subsequent shots the volume of milk in the glass and the milk bottle inexplicably change. See more »

Quotes

Albert Lory: Well, the truth is I wanted to kill George Lambert, but I don't think I could have done it. I'm too weak. I'm a coward. Well, everyone knows it; even the prosecutor. That's why he's making fun of me.
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

A courtroom speech to die for !
3 August 1999 | by (Coventry, England) – See all my reviews

Charles Laughton delivers one of the finest courtroom speeches that you are ever likely to see (it certainly ranks with Spencer Tracy in "Inherit the Wind", or Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird" ). Here, though, Laughton is not pleading the case for the defense or the prosecution, he is pleading for his own life in a Nazi "show-trial".

Rather than saving his own life by following the instructions of the German authorities, Laughton chooses to use the opportunity presented by his conducting his own defense to launch a masterful indictment of the Nazi regime. His speech to the jurors and the packed, public galleries is delivered with the sincerity and authority which only an actor with Laughton's many talents, could hope to muster. Inspired by Laughton's speech, the jurors find the courage to acquit him and Laughton dashes from the court to the school where he is a teacher.

Having made such a speech, Laughton knows that he has signed his own death warrant. There is just time, before the German soldiers come to take him away, for one final speech to his beloved class of school-children. Once again, Laughton produces the goods in this very touching scene as he reads to the children articles from the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

Most of this film is typical, low-budget, World War Two propaganda but Laughton raises it above the mediocre. Maureen O'Hara is gorgeous as the fellow teacher with whom Laughton is in love. Also worth watching, as ever, is Una O'Connor as Laughton's mother.


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Laughton is amazing... JK21
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