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It Happened Here (1965)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, War | 8 August 1966 (USA)
In 1940, the Nazis invade Britain and transform it into a fascist state where some Britons collaborate and others resist.


(story and screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pauline Murray ... Pauline
... Doctor Richard Fletcher
Bart Allison ... Skipworth
Reginald Marsh ... IA Medical Officer
Frank Bennett ... IA Political Leader
Derek Milburn ... Partisan
Nicolette Bernard ... IA Woman Commandant
Nicholas Moore ... IA Group Leader Moorfield
Rex Collett ... IA NCO
Michael Passmore ... IA Man
... German Officer
Barrie Pattison ... Street Corner Speaker
Honor Fearson ... Honor Hutton
Ronald Phillips ... German NCO
Frank Gardner ... Partisan


It is the Second World War. The Nazis have invaded Britain. There is a split between the resistance and those who prefer to collaborate with the invaders for a quiet life. The protagonist, a nurse, is caught in the middle. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What would have happened if the German army had crossed the English channel See more »


Drama | Fantasy | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

8 August 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det hände här  »


Box Office


$20,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The production used hundreds of volunteer actors and a few professional filmmakers such as Sebastian Shaw and [link=nm0550646. Some extras were members of British science fiction fan clubs. Some British fascists in the film were actual ex-members of the British Union of Fascists. Some SS and Wehrmacht soldiers portrayed in the film were actual German army ex-servicemen. See more »


Doctor Richard Fletcher: The appalling thing about fascism is that you've got to use fascist methods to get rid of it.
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Edited into Hitler's Victory (2002) See more »


Radio Revels
Music by Ivor Slaney
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

A masterpiece
24 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

'It Happened Here' is the only British war film which gives a true and accurate idea of what war is about: it is about civilians.

All war films, with the exception of this one and a tiny handful of others, deal with boys in their uniforms shooting at each other in glorious Technicolour. The army obey codes of engagement and the goodies win. We identify with the heroes and frown at the villains, we feel sad when the second-stringer dies and exhilarated when the actor with the comic role survives, and so on.

Civilians have no such luxury under occupation. This film deals with the dilemmas of surviving. with having to collaborate to a varying extent in order to earn a living, in fact with the real dilemmas which only those who lived through the Nazi occupation can truly understand. Collaboration is a slippery slope, well handled in the film as it is too in the French film 'Lacombe Lucien', where a feckless young man, rebuffed by the resistance, slips almost accidentally into collaboration for a bit of an adventure and some status.

A recent article in the London press explained that the lengthy disquisition on the necessity of fascism in occupied Britain, as voiced by an English militiaman in the film, was in fact a pro-fascist argument put forward by a real leading British fascist, who made use of the film to expound his views. Within the context of the film, the views are seductively subversive and dangerously convincing. Think Goebbels when he presented the war against Russia as a European effort to eliminate the Bolshevist menace. This argument appealed to many 'right-thinking' people in occupied Europe as, barely a couple of years after the war, many right-thinking people thought that the communist menace should be eliminated.

As a result of the filmed fascist diatribe, United Artists ordered Brownlow to remove this section (6 minutes, I think) and the film was originally screened without it.

When the resistance to foreign occupation in Iraq is labelled terrorism, well, that is exactly what the German occupiers said about all resistance movements in Europe. Resistance movements included brigands, double-agents and ruthless operators as well as heroes. At the end of the war, these movements settled scores with collaborators and presumed collaborators, with unofficial executions running into the tens of thousands.

Nothing wrong then, in having the British resistance in this film shown as behaving mercilessly. That is what real war is about and if we can't identify with it, then so much the better for those of us who never had to identify with an armed occupation either.

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