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This Land Is Mine (1943)

Approved | | Drama, War | 7 May 1943 (USA)
A mild-mannered school teacher in a Nazi-occupied town during WWII finds himself torn between collaboration and resistance.


Jean Renoir


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




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


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


"I DON'T BELIEVE IN ANYONE, Even the man I love! (Print Ad- Vancover Sun, ((Vancouver, BC)) 3 July 1943) See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The singing of "Die Lorelei" by the German soldiers was a subtle dig at the anti-semitic regime of the Nazis, since the words were written by banned Jewish poet Heinrich Heine. Many of his books, considered "un-German," were burned in the book-burning episode at Opernplatz, Berlin, Germany, on 10 May 1933. However, his works were so popular that they were still published, but "author unknown" was the listed writer. In his 1821 play "Almansor," Heine also prophetically wrote "Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen." ("Where they burned books, they will in the end in burn people.") See more »


The German tanks seen at the beginning are actually American M1917 tanks which are based on the French Renault FT-17 light tanks from World War I. The Germans captured from the French in 1940 and used them for security and airfield roles. See more »


Albert Lory: I'm afraid this is my last class. I don't know how much time I have. If this must be a short lesson, I think I've found the best book. It was given to me by Professor Sorel. The only reason it wasn't burned with the others is because I hid it away in my bedroom. I'm going to read you something that was written by great men. Written in a night of enthusiasm a long time ago. 150 years ago. These men came from all classes, rich people, poor people, businessmen, men of religion. And they didn't ...
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "Somewhere in Europe"- See more »


Featured in Cinema: Alguns Cortes - Censura II (2014) See more »


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

More wartime occupation drama from RKO and Jean Renoir
1 May 2020 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

In an unnamed European town (it's a symbolic stand-in for France, but the characters are all British), the German army moves in and sets up occupation. Local school teacher Albert (Charles Laughton) is more concerned with his romantic feelings for co-worker Louise (Maureen O'Hara) and escaping from the clutches of his over-protective mother (Una O'Connor). However, when a resistance movement begins against the occupation, Albert may find himself drawn into it.

Director Renoir manages to inject some originality into well-trod territory. Laughton is very good as the weak-willed Albert, and he's ably matched by the strong and beautiful O'Hara. George Sanders seems a bit wasted in his role as a collaborator, but he gets one really good scene. The biggest surprise was Kent Smith, an actor who I usually regard as a waste of space. Here, playing a daring resistance fighter operating right under the Germans' noses, he's charismatic and exciting. The movie won an Oscar for Best Sound.

One last bit of comparative trivia: This Land Is Mine was a big hit, with a record-breaking opening weekend. This was because it opened on a then-unheard-of 72 screens. Today, the big superhero movies open on thousands of screens.

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English | German | Latin

Release Date:

7 May 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Land Is Mine See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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