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  1. #41
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    I always wondered how the pianist Dame Myra Hess got on in the UK when announcing her name? She crops up in one film playing the piano too!

  2. #42
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    I didn't see any date of Grahame Green's original story, but I wonder how close it was to Dunkirk (June, 1940).

    I was so touched by WENT THE DAY WELL? that I sought out the Grahame Green story that inspired it. Surprisingly, it's very different, or rather, much much smaller in scope -- almost a throwaway sketch, sort of a folk tale in tone, in which the local poacher foils a Nazi invasion. The rich array of characters and incidents -- the suspense, the quiet heroism -- were all invented for the movie (which makes it all the more impressive).



    (It reminds me of my surprise when reading Kipling's THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING; the exciting, colorful, epic movie turns out to have been based on a rather thin, sketchy story.)

  3. #43
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    What impresses me greatly with this film is the way in which the characters could so easily have been stereotypes but tread a fine line and manage to stay on the right side of it.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richteab
    What impresses me greatly with this film is the way in which the characters could so easily have been stereotypes but tread a fine line and manage to stay on the right side of it.
    Not even the Nazi soldiers? They seem very stereotypical.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Country: UK Chevyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrbblr
    I didn't see any date of Grahame Green's original story, but I wonder how close it was to Dunkirk (June, 1940).


    I was so touched by WENT THE DAY WELL? that I sought out the Grahame Green story that inspired it. Surprisingly, it's very different, or rather, much much smaller in scope -- almost a throwaway sketch, sort of a folk tale in tone, in which the local poacher foils a Nazi invasion. The rich array of characters and incidents -- the suspense, the quiet heroism -- were all invented for the movie (which makes it all the more impressive).



    (It reminds me of my surprise when reading Kipling's THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING; the exciting, colorful, epic movie turns out to have been based on a rather thin, sketchy story.)[/QUOTE]



    "The Lieutenant Died Last" could be said to be more an idea than a short story but still worth the read.



    This film, though, is one of my favourites.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyP
    Not even the Nazi soldiers? They seem very stereotypical.
    It was instigated as a propaganda piece so you've got to factor in that part of the goal of the film will have been to scare trusting civilians into being more wary.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by DB7
    It was instigated as a propaganda piece so you've got to factor in that part of the goal of the film will have been to scare trusting civilians into being more wary.
    I agree. It is very much a propaganda piece [and none the worse for that, especially in the circumstances].



    It really should be seen in tandem with The Eagle Has Landed to contrast the changing attitudes in society over the intervening 30 years. I don't think any pair of films better depicts the fact that a film tells more about social mores at the time of making than anything else.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DB7
    It was instigated as a propaganda piece so you've got to factor in that part of the goal of the film will have been to scare trusting civilians into being more wary.
    The locals here still swear that Germans landed at Shingle Street (Suffolk) during the war. Don't forget we were expecting to be invaded at any minute after Dunquerque it was very real and depicting them shooting children helps fuel the hate required to stick together and not question too much.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Watch out for the church, recognisable from both Dead of Night and the Vicar of Dibley.

  10. #50
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    Just been on CH4.



    Oh yes! A remarkable production, very powerful indeed. It's amazing some of this got past the censor, but perhaps it was considered necessary at the time.

    The shooting of the old Vicar is a truly shocking moment, and the lady at the shop has to be quite brutal with the Nazi soldier - first the pepper in his face, then the fire-iron into his skull, no messing about. But the most horrifying, heart-stopping, breath-holding part is Mrs Fraser's 'grenade moment' - my word, we all know what has happened without seeing any sign of blood or guts. The end title sequence, as we see the village church receding in the distance finally made me reach for my hanky.

    There's no doubt in my mind that this is by far the best of the British flagwavers and a superb film by any standard.

  11. #51
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    Blast! Missed it. Excellent film, re-make (Eagle has Landed) is on at Christmas but the immediatcy and authenticity of the time is simply not there.

  12. #52
    Senior Member Country: UK Chevyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernardo
    Blast! Missed it. Excellent film, re-make (Eagle has Landed) is on at Christmas but the immediatcy and authenticity of the time is simply not there.
    One of my favourites HMV and Play both have it for �4.99:-

    Went The Day Well? DVD



    Good to see it being aired

  13. #53
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy H
    Just been on CH4.



    Oh yes! A remarkable production, very powerful indeed. It's amazing some of this got past the censor, but perhaps it was considered necessary at the time.

    The shooting of the old Vicar is a truly shocking moment, and the lady at the shop has to be quite brutal with the Nazi soldier - first the pepper in his face, then the fire-iron into his skull, no messing about. But the most horrifying, heart-stopping, breath-holding part is Mrs Fraser's 'grenade moment' - my word, we all know what has happened without seeing any sign of blood or guts. The end title sequence, as we see the village church receding in the distance finally made me reach for my hanky.

    There's no doubt in my mind that this is by far the best of the British flagwavers and a superb film by any standard.
    It's a mistake that horror films often make. It's not necessary to show lots of blood and all the gory details to have a moment of horror. I fact it's often more horrifying when you can't see the details but just imagine them.



    That's why the first Alien film was the scariest, you hardly saw the monster at all. As you saw more and more of it in the later films it became less frightening, almost sympathetic.



    As for Went the Day Well, a superb film. David Farrar does a very good uncaring Nazi officer. Thora Hird is very good as the Land Army girl treating it like she's at a shooting gallery. Leslie Banks makes a good villain. Valerie Taylor is great as the betrayed Vicar's daughter - Hell hath no fury ...



    But it's the "ordinary people" that make it special



    Steve

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernardo
    Blast! Missed it. Excellent film, re-make (Eagle has Landed) is on at Christmas but the immediatcy and authenticity of the time is simply not there.
    I must disagree.



    I think both films are very good and provide an excellent contrast between the changing views in society over some 30 years.



    WEDW? is very much of its time when all Germans had to be shown as evil, almost sub-human, against the plucky English [Yes, I know but it was a very English film]. The intervening years showed the changing attitude and the 70's audience of TEHL was able to accept that not all Germans had to be portrayed in a completely evil light.



    I shall enjoy both over the coming festive season.

  15. #55
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    The thing to remember is that at the time it was made, the middle of WWII, citizens of this country only new what they were told by the likes of the news reels at the cinema. There was no access to "global" views of the conflict, and let's face it "we" were fighting for our lives, literally.



    Films like this played a huge role in keeping "the chin up", silly as they may seem now.



    I thought a young Harry Fowler played a blinder!



    PS. There was (apparently) a serious intention of the director to highlight the possible dangers of the complaisance of taking people in authority at face value.

  16. #56
    Senior Member Country: UK charliekane's Avatar
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    Love the scene where Mervyn Johns is firing a machine gun out of the window and someone brings him a cup of tea - with a saucer !

  17. #57
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    " We were fighting for our lives, literally. "



    WENT THE DAY WELL's opening and closing scenes are remarkable. The old villager fixes his pipe in the quiet churchyard, and begins a story ... and we come back to him at the end, where he says ".. and that's all of England they conquered, a few yards of English soil where they are buried."



    That would be a trite ending in 1946, but the movie was filmed in 1941, the darkest year of WW2. Confidence is necessary to propaganda, but Cavalcanti's movie is good today as a drama, even though we know the outcome.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy H
    Just been on CH4.

    Oh yes! A remarkable production, very powerful indeed. It's amazing some of this got past the censor, but perhaps it was considered necessary at the time.

    The shooting of the old Vicar is a truly shocking moment, and the lady at the shop has to be quite brutal with the Nazi soldier - first the pepper in his face, then the fire-iron into his skull, no messing about. But the most horrifying, heart-stopping, breath-holding part is Mrs Fraser's 'grenade moment' - my word, we all know what has happened without seeing any sign of blood or guts. The end title sequence, as we see the village church receding in the distance finally made me reach for my hanky.

    There's no doubt in my mind that this is by far the best of the British flagwavers and a superb film by any standard.
    Remarable film and all the more strange to be showing it in the afternoon.If I hadn't come home earlier I would have missed it. As you say shocking and brutal and also movig at the same time.

    It is by far the best British war movie shown for quite sometime and there should have been a little more hype over it

  19. #59
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    We know the Nazi invaders are doomed when Dame Thora Hird sticks her machine gun out of the window and 'lets 'em have it'.......

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fellwanderer

    WEDW? is very much of its time when all Germans had to be shown as evil, almost sub-human, against the plucky English [Yes, I know but it was a very English film]. The intervening years showed the changing attitude and the 70's audience of TEHL was able to accept that not all Germans had to be portrayed in a completely evil light.
    The good news is that I managed to catch Went the Day Well, which I've wanted to see for years and never got around to. The bad news is that I was home to watch it because I've been off work with the sickness bug that's doing the rounds.



    I agree with Fellwanderer that the portrayal of Germans in WTDW as ill-mannered oafs has dated somewhat (David Farrar showing his true colours by his terrible table manners long before he is revealed as a drunken monster). The problem with The Eagle Has Landed is more that director John Sturges was well past his best by this time, and was simply unable to inject enough pace and urgency into any of his seventies films. He even made the only boring Clint Eastwood western, Joe Kidd.



    Did anyone ever own up to The Eagle Has Landed being a remake?

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