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?
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
Emily - Schoolgirl
[air raid siren starts
It's the British!
Now, now, Emily. Don't be nervous. We have plenty of time. We must take shelter - even from our friends in the sky.
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