Went The Day Well?

1942.  92 minutes.  Drama.

Screenplay by: Angus McPhail, Diana Morgan, John Dighton.

Story by: Graham Greene

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti

Producer: Michael Balcon

Players:

Leslie Banks - Oliver Wilsford

C.V. France - Reverend Ashton

Valerie Taylor - Nora Ashton

Marie Lohr - Mrs Fraser

Basil Sydney - Kommandant Orlter (alias Major Hammond)

David Farrar - Lt.Jung (alias Lt. Maxwell)

Harry Fowler - George Truscott

Elizabeth Allen - Peggy Pryde (land girl)

Frank Lawton - Tom Sturry

Thora Hird - Ivy Dawking (land girl)

Muriel George - Mrs Collins (postmistress)

Patricia Hayes - Daisy

Mervyn Johns - Charles Sims

Norman Pierce - Jim Sturry

Kathleen Boutall - Mrs Sturry

Hilda Bayley - Cousin Maude

Edward Rigby - Bill Purvis (poacher)

The men of the Gloucestershire Regiment, by kind permission of the war office.

Plot:

In the picturesque English village of Bramley End, a regiment of Royal Engineers turn up.  The villagers have no idea that they are all really German paratroopers in disguise, led by "Major Hammond".  Even though none of the villagers suspect anything is wrong, one lady notices that one of the soldiers crosses his sevens, this makes her suspicious but she just ignores it and goes about her business.  When another lady finds some chocolate with German writing on it, she takes it to her friend, Oliver Wilsford, who dismisses it.  He then informs "Major Hammond" of this, as Oliver turns out to be a collaborator with the Germans, of all things.  With that, the soldiers gather the villagers in to the church and start their plan to invade the country.  The villagers do all they can to defend their village and the country.  They show the type of pluck and fortitude which will see off Hitler.  With invading German paratroopers masquerading as British soldiers, fifth columnists and spirited villagers with guns, it makes for a very exciting film indeed.

My thoughts on the film:

This is an excellent propaganda film and shows the biggest nightmare which could happen to the country during this war.  It is also to remind people to report anything suspicious straight away and not to trust strangers - careless talk and all that.  It worked very well for me and Mrs Turner, as we came out of the cinema not trusting anyone we saw!  This film is quite shocking in places with people being killed left, right and centre.  There was a scene in the post office where Muriel George, who plays the postmistress, killed a German paratrooper with an axe, gosh it was scary.  Well, some bits of the film terrified me, I don't mind telling you, and when I went out on Home Guard patrol that night, I clutched on to my bayonet extra tightly. 

All in all, Went The Day Well? is a very good film indeed, with an excellent cast and shows as a reminder to be alert in wartime.  If ever you get the chance to see it, you should give it a go, but you might want to close your eyes when you see Muriel George wielding an axe - I hid behind my eyes and gasped! 

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