THIS LAND IS MINE (1943) B/W 103m dir: Jean Renoir
w/Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, George Sanders, Walter Slezak, Kent Smith, Una O'Connell, Philip Merivale, Thurston Hall, George Coulouris, Nancy Gates
A timid schoolteacher (Laughton) becomes a hero when his country is overrun with Nazis. Fine performance by Laughton in this compelling drama.
From The Movie Guide: "Although some consider THIS LAND IS MINE preachy and overly talky, it must be praised for its understanding of humanity. Instead of painting the Germans as mighty evildoers, Renoir took a more daring and honest approach, implicating the French as being partly responsible for the Occupation, when many citizens collaborated with the Nazis to ensure that they would remain immune from punishment and that their orderly lives would not be shattered by the invaders. Renoir avoided propagandistic clichés and took into consideration human nature; human nature, however, is not what people look for in war heroes and patriotic messages. Although long considered a propaganda film, THIS LAND IS MINE is more correctly seen as anti-propagandistic. There is no black and white, no good or evil. There is only grey, and, in that grey area, an understanding of the frailty of human nature."