A good example of the cinema of the occupation and of the Vichy ideology.
A discharged seaman winds up on an old man's farm: his children left the place for the broader horizons of the evil city;the walls are near decay ,the fields lie fallow ..."the call of the sea is louder than the call of the land" says he to the good boy who is looking for a home base (that's the meaning of the title)and suggest the old farmer he work for him and he make the small farm prosperous again.But there is too much work for a single man;fortunately he meets a handful of serious Young men ,he hires to work with him .This manly team echoes that of the classic " La Belle Equipe" (1936)although the director,Jean Choux ,is no match for Julien Duvivier.
Like in Duvivier's movie,this well-intentioned group has enemies:the garage owner who wants to buy the farm,the old man's daughter,one of those bad gals who left her folks for the town and is afraid of losing her inheritance ,and all the people around who cannot stand those intruders ,who come to steal their earth .
The screenplay praises healthy work,virile camaraderie :René Dary is ideally cast as the hero who acts with his "men" like a big-hearted staff sergeant who set himself the task of putting a farm back on its feet (this farm might be ,like in the famous folk song "Le Vieux Chalet", a transparent metaphor:it's our own decadent country it's never too late to rebuild ,so Marechal ,Nous Voilà (Maréchal here we are).
Our old country with traditions:the story ends on an optimistic note the very night of Saint-Jean where they light bonfires to celebrate the Summer solstice::the villain(Alfred Adam),who covets the farm and the nurse the hero is in love with,is chastised -he never works ,he represents the negative element of the ideology-,the traitor to the great cause is forgiven ,and the Young folks who jump over the fire will be married within the year:the guy (Henri Vidal) who got one of the peasant girls pregnant comes back just for the fête :the family values survive intact.
Like this? try these.....
"Le Val D'Enfer " (Maurice Tourneur,1943)
"Monsieur Des Lourdines"(Pierre De Hérain,1942)
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