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The residents of a British village during WWII welcome a platoon of soldiers who are to be billeted with them. The trusting residents then discover that the soldiers are Germans who proceed to hold the village captive.Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
Its Unexpected Violence Causes It to Project with Particular Prominence
In WWII England a troop of surveyors are dispatched into a characteristically happy-go-lucky and scenic village, though really they are a select assemblage of German officers with orders to seize control of the township on the horizon of a covert German attack in a few days. Director Alberto Cavalcani is smart. Rather than this information creeping up on us like a twist, we grasp this from the start. When one of the villagers grows suspicious, we are in an enhanced state of tension. The Germans hijack the parish, a handful among which refuse to lose hope of alerting the unsuspecting free world around them.
Do not make the mistake of presuming that it is an insincere propaganda yarn, considering its era. This is in fact quite an electrifying tale of survival. If so many can overlook the propaganda of obsolete films like Battleship Potemkin, there is certainly room for this picture. It stands out, owing much to its unexpected flashes of violence that are sincerely exhilarating and often frank and uncompromising in terms of the drama. It is not gritty like most modern war films. The quaintly timeless English ambiance, and the consistent theme of it maintaining its spry morale, is a clever and natural juxtaposition to the taut aggression of the conflict, which is thus more well-defined. The relatively unfamiliar cast is plainly high- quality.
At its hub, yes, it's a work of propaganda exploiting a thriller story to enrapture its WWII-era British spectators. But mind you, it is based on a story by English writer and WWII MI6 spy Graham Greene. Nevertheless, the English were righteous in that war, remaining the only European country the Germans intended to occupy but never could. This piece grows to be as riveting as any other good movie, and what's more, its unexpected violence causes it to project with particular prominence.
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