7.6/10
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44 user 20 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 (screenplay)
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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 ... 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 John Donat ... Edmund Lorraine
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Storyline

Albert Lory is a teacher at a school in German-occupied France. He is a coward, but he is drawn into the actions of the resistance. Arrested by the Germans because of an alleged murder, a German officer promises him freedom, if he is willing to collaborate against French resistance (by discontinuing his defense speech, which is arousing the citizens in court). Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Latin

Release Date:

7 May 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esta tierra es mía See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Walter Slezak ran into Charles Laughton on a train in Chicago where Slezak gave Laughton a copy of a script. Laughton stayed up all night reading it. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning, Albert pours himself a glass of milk, drinks over half the glass and sets the glass down on the table. In the next shot, the glass is full again. In subsequent shots the volume of milk in the glass and the milk bottle inexplicably change. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Emma Lory: Oh, it's shocking now. So many cows in the country and no milk!
See more »

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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent, and pointed
16 December 2009 | by rupieSee all my reviews

I can vaguely remember seeing this movie on television years ago, and recalled it as a movie with an anti-Nazi message. Seeing it again recently, and with a lifetime of reading behind me, I realize it has further depths of meaning.

Despite the pretense of being set "somewhere in Europe," it is beyond doubt that Renoir had France very specifically in mind. He was a French émigré, and it's clear that he has a message for his countrymen about the great number of them that chose to collaborate with the Germans. But the film is not a sledgehammer, in that the Germans are not portrayed as the stereotypical jackbooted thugs. Their official voice in the film, the officer played by Walter Slezak, has a silky sort of charm and shows how easy it can be to cooperate in the name of so many things - peace, order, stability, etc. etc. Laughton's final courtroom speech has so many specific references to the situation in France that it cannot be interpreted as other than such. And the final finishing touch is Laughton's last lesson to his students before being taken away - he reads from the "Declaration of the Rights of Man" from the French Revolution.

Aside from that it is an excellent story very well told, and the production values are extremely high - the print I saw looked excellent even after 60-some years. The cast, of course, is superb, with Laughton, Slezak, and Maureen O'Hara. Particularly good is George Sanders, in a role very different from his stereotype as the suave and debonair cynic. The whole "mama's boy" aspect of Laughton's character is a bit heavy-handed, but it's still to watch Una O'Connor as his mother (you just can't help recalling her tavern woman's part in "The Invisible Man").

Thsi is not just an excellent movie, but an interesting historical artifact as well.


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