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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 1,773 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 18 critic

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Albert Lory
...
Louise Martin
...
Walter Slezak ...
Major Erich von Keller
Kent Smith ...
...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry Roquemore is in casting call lists playing a butcher, but was not seen in the film. The jury foreman, George M. Carleton, is said to be the town butcher by Charles Laughton when he addresses the jury. See more »

Goofs

The German troops are all wearing WWI style helmets, presumably because the actual style of helmets used by Germany in WWII were not available to the film makers. There are also various other mistakes with the German uniforms. See more »

Quotes

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 »

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 fine positive propaganda film...
11 December 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film was set in an unnamed nation that was just conquered by the Nazis. Given the statue of the WWI soldier at the beginning of the movie, it probably was intended as either Belgium or France (given the style uniform on the statue). However, in an odd Hollywood decision, the cast was made up of a wide variety of actors and accents--such as the very American Kent Smith, the Irish Maureen O'Hara, Englishman Charles Laughton and the very cultured George Sanders (who hailed from Russia from English parents). It was also confusing because the country was just conquered and yet by this point the Americans were apparently in the war (meaning it most likely occurred in 1942 or 43)--and no nation fit this pattern. All were fine actors, however, and the excellent writing made me forget about all this.

The story of this fictional nation is all about collaboration versus resistance. Some are obviously evil and seem to like the Germans--or at least look to get rich off the suffering of their own people. Some appear to be collaborators but are actually brave resistance fighters. And Laughton is a nice case--a very wimpy 'everyman' who eventually finds his strength of character through the course of the film.

While some might find this all a bit hokey, the film was an excellent piece of positive propaganda. It must have been incredibly rousing when it debuted and according to IMDb it set box office records. Good acting and a nice script make this one of the better films of its type--well worth watching and memorable--especially for Laughton's fine characterization as well as his impressive speech near the end.


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