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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent wartime look at Nazi occupation
Despite being directed by Jean Renoir and set in Vichy France, This Land is Mine never for one second gives the impression that there's anything remotely French about it or its characters, but in a strange way that works in the film's favor as a propaganda picture: this isn't a universally French story but one that could just as easily have happened in the USA had the...
Published on 14 Jun 2007 by Trevor Willsmer

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2.0 out of 5 stars Charles Laughton and George Sanders
You would have thought that with Charles Laughton and George Sanders that this would be a better film but it's not. There is a pathetic scene where Laughton holds the gun that Sanders has shot himself with and is spotted by a witness who thinks Laughton has committed the murder. This has been on television quite a few times with the famous scene where Laughton cries out...
Published 3 months ago by Samuel Barber


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent wartime look at Nazi occupation, 14 Jun 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: This Land Is Mine [DVD] (DVD)
Despite being directed by Jean Renoir and set in Vichy France, This Land is Mine never for one second gives the impression that there's anything remotely French about it or its characters, but in a strange way that works in the film's favor as a propaganda picture: this isn't a universally French story but one that could just as easily have happened in the USA had the Nazis won.

Dudley Nichols' script is a surprisingly intelligent look at the nature of collaboration and the self-righteous moral delusion of the Vichy Government that justified a baser mercenary self-interest. Walter Slezak's Nazi isn't an obvious stereotype, more a pragmatic idealist rather than a fanatic - a true believer, but one who doesn't want the situation in the town to escalate because his job is easier if it doesn't. He's the one constantly offering practical solutions to avoid reprisals. Similarly, George Sanders' collaborator's belief that the Nazis and the Vichy French share many of the same political philosophies and so are a morally justifiable partnership doesn't make him immune to torment at the consequences of that union.

That it all ends in a series of speeches from Charles Laughton's timid schoolteacher curiously doesn't detract, especially since the film regards thought and speech as expressions of resistance every bit as valid as acts of sabotage. Renoir even manages to draw a good performance out of Maureen O'Hara, with none of her usual broad cartoon bluster, and even Una O'Connor is almost tolerable for once.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent wartime look at Nazi occupation, 9 Sep 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: This Land Is Mine [DVD] (DVD)
Despite being directed by Jean Renoir and set in Vichy France, This Land is Mine never for one second gives the impression that there's anything remotely French about it or its characters, but in a strange way that works in the film's favor as a propaganda picture: this isn't a universally French story but one that could just as easily have happened in the USA had the Nazis won.

Dudley Nichols' script is a surprisingly intelligent look at the nature of collaboration and the self-righteous moral delusion of the Vichy Government that justified a baser mercenary self-interest. Walter Slezak's Nazi isn't an obvious stereotype, more a pragmatic idealist rather than a fanatic - a true believer, but one who doesn't want the situation in the town to escalate because his job is easier if it doesn't. He's the one constantly offering practical solutions to avoid reprisals. Similarly, George Sanders' collaborator's belief that the Nazis and the Vichy French share many of the same political philosophies and so are a morally justifiable partnership doesn't make him immune to torment at the consequences of that union.

That it all ends in a series of speeches from Charles Laughton's timid schoolteacher curiously doesn't detract, especially since the film regards thought and speech as expressions of resistance every bit as valid as acts of sabotage. Renoir even manages to draw a good performance out of Maureen O'Hara, with none of her usual broad cartoon bluster, and even Una O'Connor is almost tolerable for once.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Undeservedly Obscure WWII Gem..., 5 Feb 2012
By 
Mike Fontanelli (Sherman Oaks, California USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Land Is Mine [DVD] (DVD)
Often dismissed today as flag-waving wartime "filler," this underrated 1943 drama builds to an emotional finale that's as understated as it is compelling. Modern charges of preachiness, datedness and propagandistic are not only unfair, but ultimately pointless. Almost every character is "shaded." None are simplistic or caricatured, not even the villains. Indeed, the film makes a point of showing that everyone is, in reality, "two people." Made during a time of worldwide chaos and upheaval, the thoughtful and intelligent screenplay by Dudley Nichols is just as relevant today as it was 70 years ago.

The film asks an audacious, unflinching question: Is it worth the lives of the innocent to combat tyranny and oppression? THIS LAND IS MINE doesn't pretend to have easy answers - but it does have a point of view, and makes its case convincingly. I found the final scene in which a transformed schoolmaster bids farewell to his young class of future citizens both honest and unexpectedly moving. Never has a reading of The DECLARATION Of The RIGHTS Of MAN sounded more eloquent, carried more conviction or packed such an emotional wallop. This film deserves to be better known. Forget what the "experts" say, and give it a chance. Lastly, the stellar quality of the film's celebrated stars, director and supporting cast of veteran character actors goes without saying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SEE THIS FILM, 6 Jan 2013
This review is from: This Land Is Mine [DVD] (DVD)
If you haven't seen this world war 2 film i urge you to.Great message of sacrifice,heroism and LOVE for mothers,sons,neighbours,country and freedom.Very moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful, 29 Jan 2012
By 
Ra Baxter "douglas" (liverpool) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Land Is Mine [DVD] (DVD)
Charles laughtons courtroom speech at the end of the film was the highlight for me....such a marvelous actor.Dated of course,but well worth watching...another gem from years gone by.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Charles Laughton and George Sanders, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: This Land Is Mine [DVD] (DVD)
You would have thought that with Charles Laughton and George Sanders that this would be a better film but it's not. There is a pathetic scene where Laughton holds the gun that Sanders has shot himself with and is spotted by a witness who thinks Laughton has committed the murder. This has been on television quite a few times with the famous scene where Laughton cries out from his cell: 'Professor Sorrell. PROFESSOR SORRELL.' The poor professor gets shot.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1940's America war film, 31 Mar 2010
By 
Al Smith "smudger" (Peterborough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: This Land Is Mine [DVD] (DVD)
this film is a classic America film set in occupied France
bigger than life acting from some very good actors
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