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It Happened Here [1964] [DVD]

Kevin Brownlow , Andrew Mollo    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: 8.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Mollo
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Film First
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jan 2006
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,252 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

'The German Invasion of England took place in July 1940 after the British retreat from Dunkirk...' This is the starting point of Brownlow & Mollo's remarkable film about life and unwitting collaboration in Occupied England. Controversially, the film lets actual British fascists speak for themselves while presenting the moral dilemmas of getting on with life after conquest in practical, personal terms. The film's attention to authentic detail is also rigorous - at times you could be forgiven for thinking that this actually did happen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A neglected masterpiece 24 Nov 2001
Format:VHS Tape
The premise of this most unusual war film is that Britain was invaded and occupied after the Dunkirk retreat, and in a mixture of documentary and narrative styles it sets out to tell the story of the occupation that the country narrowly (some would say, unaccountably) escaped, up to and including the 'liberation', orchestrated by the efforts of local partisans with American assistance, in the war's closing year.
It is hard to believe that this film began its life as the spare-time project of 18-year-old Kevin Brownlow, a film enthusiast working in the cutting-room of a small London production company, and his 16-year-old schoolboy friend Andrew Mollo, who had a passion for military history and a collection of old German uniforms and regalia. Starting without a budget, using a borrowed 16 mm camera, the two doggedly pursued their dream of completing the project for almost eight years, finding actors, actresses, sets and backing as they went along.
This is a low-key, reflective war drama, which follows its central character, an Irish- born district nurse working in a village near Salisbury, through the horrors of a partisan ambush that goes wrong, to a chilling Nazi-dominated vision of London, where she finds herself assimilated into the highly political "Immediate Action Organization" and receives her "political re-education", on to a rural medical centre specializing in euthanasia for "undesirables", through to the final chilling irony of "liberation" and the wholesale slaughter of "collaborators".
The most famous sequence in the work is a six-minute scene in which genuine Neo- Nazis expound their ideas.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Frighteningly Plausible Film 13 Mar 2006
The mostly amateur actors give a real documentary feel to the film, and the authentic uniforms in London settings give an uneasy thrill. The overall feel is of an Orwellian nightmare, overlaid with UK style images reminiscent of Lacombe Lucien, Is Paris Burning or any number of French period newsreels. The English mini-Nuremburg funeral, the SS-Black Prince Division and the interviews with unrepentant Mosleyites must have been well ahead of their time, and apparently blighted Brownlow's career, but the film is compelling, and often much more brutal than UK films of the period. The partisan style ending in Gloucestershire jolts the viewer, would the British have really behaved like this? Would we have used Wembley as a "Vel d'Hiver" or would Acton Turville be our equivalent of Lidice or Oradour. No stock footage used, but I was sure that I'd seen the images from German newsreels. That is the highest recommendation concerning the reality of the shots.
Well worth viewing.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Firstly, let's put this into context - less than 20 years after the end of WWII, two young film-makers (18 and 16 years old), with no budget made this extraordinary film. Every single frame was filmed - there is absolutely no stock footage in this at all, yet it all looks so real, from the cinematic news reels to the landscape of bombed-out Britain.

At the time, this film was labelled with controversy - the makers had intended it to be anti-fascist, but some ended up saying it was anti-Semitic. In those days, most films clearly label who are the good guys and who are the bad guys - this does not. Having recently watched "The Sorrow and the Pity" - a documentary comprised entirely of interviews with French people of all political persuasions who lived under the Nazi occupation - this was remarkably similar in the way a country buckles under. Let's remember what Europe was like during the war - a political spectrum of extremes - it was only after the war that the Allies truly came to realise the reality of the National Socialist beliefs.

So... what if the Germans had invaded immediately after Dunkirk? As the "newsreel" at the beginning says, it was a bitterly-contested fight, but eventually, weight of numbers told. Imagine if all the armies involved in Barbarossa were pitted against Britain instead...

This film has a great eye for detail and is cinematically brilliant - I was constantly wondering how the hell they managed to film Germans marching down the Mall, past St Pauls, on London sight-seeing buses, etc etc.

Get this film! It's a must see.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A British Masterpiece! 28 Mar 2006
By A Customer
"It Happened Here" Directed by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo is a Classic of British Cinema. The Film is remarkable in its authenticity, given the fictional scenario, that of the invasion of Britain by the Nazis during World War Two.
The look of this Motion Picture is very raw and earthy which adds to the realism. It is shot in the style of a documentry and I have been informed that parts of the film have been used (in error for Television Documentries) as authentic World War footage.
The German soldiers look perfect, I say this because it is so rare that Directors make such a concerted effort for perfection and detail.
Andrew Mollo and Kevin Brownlow are two of the most talented and unrecognized Directors in Britain. This film is an example of the best of British Independent Film making and I hope the film will get the recognition it deserves now that it is available on DVD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars In awe
As my heading says, I'm in awe of this film. That two kids, aged 16 and 18 with no money or sophisticated equipment (even by mid 60s standards) could create something so plausible... Read more
Published 1 month ago by T. Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars It Happened Here
This is a very interesting film about the possibility that Britian was invaded by the Nazis in World War II.
Published 3 months ago by Daphne Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars A War Game for the 40s.
Saw this years ago;the uniforms and filming are great,liked the news vendor's kiosk selling Signal,the Frankfurter Zeitung and the Partei newspaper,Volkischer Beobachtung,then you... Read more
Published 6 months ago by DEREK HEATLY
5.0 out of 5 stars only a film, thank god
A disturbing look at what may have taken place in our land, and good cause to be thankful for those who stopped it from happening at cost to themselves. Read more
Published 10 months ago by hanging judge
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull as dishwater
A very disappointing plot - especially since the basic idea could have been used to create an exciting & engaging story.
Less gripping than Crossroads. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Londain
1.0 out of 5 stars It Happened Here
Before I ordered this DVD I read some reviews giving it 5 stars . I must have been sent the wrong DVD , because this is absolute nonsense !
Published 15 months ago by Mr. James Hannah
4.0 out of 5 stars makes you think
makes you think what would of England would be like if the germans won the war and took over here,how they would get rid of disabled,old,sick. Read more
Published 24 months ago by the parapsychologist
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Rubbish !!!
Properly made, this could have been a good film, but the script is appalling,the acting only mediocre, the filming amateurish and the theme lacks continuity. Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2012 by Alan Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated
It Happened Here [1964] [DVD]This was a film that i had long heard about but never seen so when it came up on my recomendations list i thought i would try it. Read more
Published on 16 July 2011 by Big Al
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
This is an absolute masterpiece of cinema. I have only seen it once, but then I have only owned a copy for a fortnight. Read more
Published on 7 July 2011 by meeky
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