1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von ... See full summary »
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1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von Ebrennac, to live in for as long as he is in the area on Nazi business. As a figurative and literal silent protest against the Nazis and the officer, the uncle and niece do whatever is required of them while the officer is in their house, however they do not acknowledge his presence, living largely in silence whenever he is around. The officer treats the housing situation with care, like he is a guest. Although not a nightly occurrence, the officer begins an evening routine with his reluctant hosts: in his civilian clothes, he knocks on the door of the room in which they have convened for the evening, walking in shortly thereafter knowing that no acknowledgment will be made for him to enter, he visits with them for no more than five minutes before he bids them a good evening as he exits. During these ... Written by
Melville began filming without the rights to Vercors' novel; when Vercors heard of this, he met with Melville, who told him that if he did not like the film, he would burn the negative. Melville was also not in the screenwriters' or directors' unions and had difficulty in employing people and getting distribution. However, the film was an immense success, both critically and commercially and Vercors loved it. See more »
A sympathetic Nazi? Well, yes, but not for any reason you may suspect. Lieutenant Werner Von Ebrennac, a German officer, is ordered to billet in the home of a man and his niece living alone in a small house in France. Ebrennac, a refined and sophisticated intellectual, seems to believe that politeness will compensate for the the insult of forced occupancy--it does not. The uncle and his niece maintain a complete silence for the many months of the occupation. Ebrennac, a Francophile, deluded by the idea that the German occupation of France will become a harmonious union of two great European nations, is stunned. Later, Ebrennac, crushed when his colleagues disabuse him of his naiveté, requests transfer to the front lines. His request is approved. A different and very interesting WW2 movie well worth the time of any serious student of the Second World War.
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