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This Land Is Mine (1943)

Approved | | Drama, War | 7 May 1943 (USA)
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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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

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Judge (as Ivan Simpson)
John Donat ...
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Storyline

Albert Lory is a teacher at a school in German-occupied France. He is a coward, but he is drawn into the actions of the resistance. Arrested by the Germans because of an alleged murder, a German officer promises him freedom, if he is willing to collaborate against French resistance (by discontinuing his defense speech, which is arousing the citizens in court). Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

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Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

7 May 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esta tierra es mía  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jean Renoir always had Charles Laughton in mind for the lead role. See more »

Goofs

In the initial scenes of the village, an advertisement for War Bonds can be seen on a wall. Although the French government sought funds from its population during the First World War (through National Defense Loans), it would not have occurred in the Second World War as France was so quickly defeated and occupied. The advertisement in this movie therefore, is more likely to be a near-subliminal appeal to the American population to purchase War Bonds to support the US effort. See more »

Quotes

Major Erich von Keller: The sound of the mob, Mr. Mayor. I don't like the way it looks.
Mayor Henry Manville: You don't have to worry now, Major von Keller. Break up the printing press and you break up rebellion.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "Somewhere in Europe"- See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema: Alguns Cortes - Censura II (2014) 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
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User Reviews

 
A great story of human dignity.
16 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

Jean Renoir managed to flee France because of the Nazi invasion and spent World War II turning out some pretty good films in America. Maybe the best is this heartfelt tribute to his beloved and occupied France.

He got the best possible actor for his protagonist. Charles Laughton could play tortured and flawed human beings like no other actor ever could in the English speaking world. Here he is a French schoolteacher, middle-aged, shy, and mother dominated by Una O'Connor. And he's afraid of his own shadow.

He also loves neighbor and fellow schoolteacher Maureen O'Hara and she's got a fiancé who's a collaborator and a brother in the resistance played by George Sanders and Kent Smith.

It's all these people's story and even the local gauleiter Walter Slezak is not a simple brute as Nazis are so often portrayed.

The story involves Laughton's growth as a human being, seeing what is happening to his town, the people around him, and most of all to the school to both the children and the teachers. The last twenty minutes of the film are almost exclusively his. In both a courtroom and a classroom, he has some brilliantly delivered speeches explaining to the town why they must resist the evil upon them.

For me the best scene is in the courtroom where Laughton is accused of murder and throws away a carefully prepared script that Slezak has offered him. He tells the town what they need to hear and then declares his love for O'Hara and the reasons for him doing what he's doing.

During that part of Laughton's speech the camera focuses totally on Maureen O'Hara and her reactions to Laughton's words. It's a beautiful crafted scene by a great director.

A film classic for the ages.


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