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 ...
The screen's great drama of defiance.
Did You Know?
It was originally titled "The Children." See more
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
Mrs. Emma Lory
It's outrageous bombing innocent civilians. Why don't they stay at home? Things are bad enough as they are.
I wish I could see the sky full of them Mrs Lory.
Opening credits prologue: "Somewhere in Europe"- See more
Referenced in Inglourious Basterds
Music by Friedrich Silcher (1838)
Poem by Heinrich Heine
Played on accordion by Kent Smith
and sung by the German soldiers See more