7.6/10
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53 user 21 critic

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.

Director:

Jean Renoir

Writer:

Dudley Nichols (screen play)
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Laughton ... Albert Lory
Maureen O'Hara ... Louise Martin
George Sanders ... George Lambert
Walter Slezak ... Major Erich von Keller
Kent Smith ... Paul Martin
Una O'Connor ... 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 John Donat ... Edmund Lorraine
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Storyline

The Nazis have just invaded and are now occupying another Western European town in an Allied country, the Nazi District Commadant being Major Erich von Keller. Like other such occupied towns, the Nazis are keeping it a supposed free city in return for citizen cooperation. Some of the town's leading citizens, such as Mayor Henry Manville and the railway station master George Lambert, encourage that citizen cooperation outwardly to maintain peace, while such persons are able to profit individually in being in von Keller's proverbial back pocket. Paul Martin, a railway switch man and George's best friend, has gone even further by befriending occupying German soldiers. On the other side, the school head master, well-respected Professor Sorel, and young schoolteacher Louise Martin, Paul's sister and George's fiancée, openly but quietly resist although do not totally defy Nazi orders. Louise's fellow schoolteacher, middle-aged Albert Lory, is a timid man, his self-admitted cowardice ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen's great drama of defiance.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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 Albert (Charles Laughton) when he addresses the jury. See more »

Goofs

When Paul Martin is trying to escape by jumping from car to car in the rail yard, one of the parked box cars to the side clearly has the Great Northern logo. Whilst GN was a large operation, its rails didn't reach to Nazi occupied Europe. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Emma Lory: Here's the newspaper.
Albert Lory: Newspaper - lies.
Mrs. Emma Lory: Shhh! You may find something interesting in it today.
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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 bkoganbingSee 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Latin

Release Date:

7 May 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Land Is Mine See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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