7.6/10
2,428
43 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

Henry Roquemore is in casting call lists playing a butcher, but was not seen in the film. The jury foreman, George M. Carleton, is said to be the town butcher by Charles Laughton when he addresses the jury. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 ...
[...]
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

 
A great story of human dignity.
16 April 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Jean Renoir managed to flee France because of the Nazi invasion and spent World War II turning out some pretty good films in America. Maybe the best is this heartfelt tribute to his beloved and occupied France.

He got the best possible actor for his protagonist. Charles Laughton could play tortured and flawed human beings like no other actor ever could in the English speaking world. Here he is a French schoolteacher, middle-aged, shy, and mother dominated by Una O'Connor. And he's afraid of his own shadow.

He also loves neighbor and fellow schoolteacher Maureen O'Hara and she's got a fiancé who's a collaborator and a brother in the resistance played by George Sanders and Kent Smith.

It's all these people's story and even the local gauleiter Walter Slezak is not a simple brute as Nazis are so often portrayed.

The story involves Laughton's growth as a human being, seeing what is happening to his town, the people around him, and most of all to the school to both the children and the teachers. The last twenty minutes of the film are almost exclusively his. In both a courtroom and a classroom, he has some brilliantly delivered speeches explaining to the town why they must resist the evil upon them.

For me the best scene is in the courtroom where Laughton is accused of murder and throws away a carefully prepared script that Slezak has offered him. He tells the town what they need to hear and then declares his love for O'Hara and the reasons for him doing what he's doing.

During that part of Laughton's speech the camera focuses totally on Maureen O'Hara and her reactions to Laughton's words. It's a beautiful crafted scene by a great director.

A film classic for the ages.


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