7.6/10
2,563
45 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 (screenplay)
Reviews
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

Director Jean Renoir always had Charles Laughton in mind for the lead role. See more »

Goofs

In the initial scenes of the village, an advertisement for War Bonds can be seen on a wall. Although the French government sought funds from its population during the First World War (through National Defense Loans), it would not have occurred in the Second World War as France was so quickly defeated and occupied. The advertisement in this movie therefore, is more likely to be a near-subliminal appeal to the American population to purchase War Bonds to support the US effort. See more »

Quotes

Professor Sorel: It's very difficult surgical operation. Cut the heart out without killing the patient. The history of our country, however, is a very tough old patient, and we'll do the best we can.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) 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

 
Anti-Nazi film about a timid teacher becomes involved into the actions of the resistance and charged with murder
19 June 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

One of greatest anti-war films with memorable acting from Charles Laughton , Maureen O'Hara and George Sanders . It's a moving reflexion about war , sacrifice and death . A mild-mannered schoolteacher (Charles Laughton) in a Nazi occupied town during WWII finds himself being torn between collaboration and resistance . He is quite friendly with his fellow teacher , Louise Martin (Maureen O'Hara) and her brother Paul (Kent Smith ) . Meanwhile , at school and street many prohibited books, considered "un-German," were broken or burned in the book-burning pile . Albert is charged with murder but the local Nazi commander, Major Erich Von Keller (Walter Slezak) , offers him a deal . At the end the teacher begins reading to his students "The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" (French: Déclaration Des Droits l'Homme Et Du Citoyen), a fundamental document of the French Revolution.

This is an excellent classic anti-war movie and deals about sacrifice , collaboration , comradeship , human relations and in which a shy man is drawn into the actions of the resistance . A heart-breaker and elegiac movie in the way it shows war undercutting and qualities of a timid but good teacher . This is a well-paced , deliberate and magnetic drama set in WWII . It is a riveting film dealing with thought-provoking issues , wonderful acting and anti-Nazi denounce . Anyway, the film is very interesting , thematically intriguing and brooding . Time has not diminished its qualities nor its charming to the emotions . Interesting performances enhance an eloquent screenplay by Dudley Nichols . Impressive defense final speech , though propaganda , which is arousing the citizens in court . The film opened simultaneously at 72 theaters in 50 key cities on 7 May 1943, setting a box office record for gross receipts on an opening day. Excellent acting by the great Charles Laughton , giving a remarkable , self-effecting performance as a coward , mild-mannered teacher who is drawn into the actions of the resistance . Very good support cast includes extraordinary actors as George Sanders as George Lambert , Walter Slezak as Major Erich Von Keller , Kent Smith as Paul Martin and special mention to Una O'Connor as mother at a sympathetic though exaggerated interpretation .

The film is excellently screen-written and directed by Jean Renoir who approach the intensity and feel of his best works. Son of painter impressionist Auguste Renoir , was perhaps the best of French directors . At its initial French period he directed classics as ¨Boudu saved drowning, Rules of the game, Marseillaise, Day in the country¨ and of course ¨Grand Illusion¨ in which his optimism remains relentless . Renoir was in Hollywood for seven years, where he made ¨Swamp water, Southerner, Diary of chambermaid, This land is mine,and Woman on the beach¨. He returned France where directed other classic films as ¨Carrozza dóro, Testament Dr Cordelier, Picnic on the grass, Vanishing corporal¨ and several others. His films have influenced on Francois Truffaut, Luchino Visconti, Satyajit Ray , among them. Rating : above average, an extraordinary and sensational film.


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