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Went The Day Well - Digitally Restored (80 Years of Ealing) [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Leslie Banks, C.V. France, Valerie Taylor
  • Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti
  • 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: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 25 July 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00525QG4C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,128 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Based on the story by Grahame Greene, Went The Day Well? is a classic piece of propagandist entertainment, a warning to British citizens to remain ever alert for the arrival of the enemy. Alberto Cavalcanti’s film tells the story of a quiet English village which has been infiltrated by German Soldiers masquerading as British Troops, leaving the plucky villages to uncover the plot and fight back.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Went the Day Well? is one of the British war movies made during WWII that were meant to strengthen morale and inspire steadfastness. The little English village of Bromley End welcomes a large number of Royal Engineers who are to work on a secret project. However, the Royal Engineers in reality are English-speaking German soldiers in British uniforms, parachuted into England to set up a counter radar apparatus which will disrupt England's radar network.

Gradually the villagers begin to suspect things aren't right, and then realize what they're dealing with. The Germans cordon off the village and show their true, ruthless nature. The villagers need to break through the cordon to alert authorities and get help. They also decide they must take action themselves to stop the Germans. This is complicated because the village houses a traitor. The climax is the Battle of Bromley End, with British Home Guard troops arriving while the Germans, attacking the manor house where they must set up their equipment, are held off by the brave men and women of the village.

You'll recognize some fine actors: Leslie Banks, David Farrar, Thora Hird, Basil Sydney, Mervyn Johns among others. The film is a well-constructed and effective bit of wartime home-front propaganda.
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Format: DVD
An engaging and suspense-laden drama based on the notion that Germans infiltrate a small English village as the vanguard for an invasion of the country. Although the characters are by and large stereotypical (redoubtable lady of the manor, plucky land-girls, fragile but courageous vicar's daughter etc), the film is a fascinating snap-shot of techniques designed to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, and despite the black-and-white film and the classic RP accents, it achieves that completely. Both my nine-year old son and I were enthralled by the film. A tightly-scripted, well-crafted tale based on a Graham Greene short story that serves its purpose and continues to entertain, 65 years on.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This propaganda film from the 1940's has passed the decades with flying colours. For those who don't know, this film is about German troops who take over a British village in the guise of British troops as a prelude to invasion. If this film sounds familiar to modern viewers, it was remade as "The Eagle has Landed" but ignore this dire Michael Caine vehicle and enjoy the original.
More importantly at long last we are seeing a proper overhaul of the Ealing catalogue which for years consisted of worn out prints. The restoration of both picture and sound are top notch and easily on a par with Optimum's recent releases like "Ice Cold in Alex" and "The Cruel Sea". With the likes of "The Lavender Hill Mob" and "Quatermass and the Pit" forthcoming, this is turning out to be a great year for fans of classic British Cinema.

Roger Shore
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Format: DVD
Based on a Graham Greene short story this 1942 film is set during the Second World War and concerns the forward invasion of a fictional English village by a group of Germans. I first caught the tail end of the film on TV a couple of years back while at a friend's place and though I'm not normally one for war films what I saw I really enjoyed. So I was delighted to finally get hold of the DVD. The film stands the test of time very well. It is both suspenseful and sinister. The story works in flashback as one of the villagers introduces viewers to the events.

The Germans make their entrances disguised as British soldiers and thus the film is taken up with the how the villagers realise the truth and work to foil the invaders. There are a number of affecting scenes, some of them the more so purely because of their simplicity and the "ordinariness" of many of the characters whether dying at the hands of the invaders or performing heroic deeds. The film is also notable for a youthful appearance of the late Thora Hird. This is an excellent wartime thriller and a strong 5* treat.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It wouldn't seem out of place if this feature was prefaced by one of Harry Enfield's spoof vintage information films, introduced by Messrs Grayson and Cholmondley-Warner. It could almost be entitled "Look, Listen and Take Heed: What to Do If You Suspect an Invasion".

Based on a story by Graham Greene, Went the Day Well? was made by Ealing Studios in 1942, half-way through World War II. Besides its entertainment value, it functioned as a piece of cautionary propaganda.

The villagers of the idyllic Bramley End are at first nonplussed when a visiting platoon inadvertently reveals itself to be in the employ of a certain power-crazed German dictator. This being an age of limited communication, a concerted effort is made to halt the advance party in its tracks.

What follows is a curious hybrid of The Vicar of Dibley and Inglourious Basterds as the local residents set about repelling the murderous interlopers with vengeful gusto. The tone of the piece is dark and disturbing - unusual for its time and quite unlike the subsequent comedies for which Ealing would become renowned. It is highly watchable, nonetheless.

For this 2011 Blu-ray, the film's source is the resultant print of the BFI's recent extensive restoration. The black-and-white picture - despite infrequent minor signs of its age - is a noticeable improvement over the 2003 DVD release. The soundtrack is PCM 2.0 mono and there are English subtitles. A pair of bonus features are included: a short film by director Alberto Cavalcanti and an audio essay about early British Cinema that was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

For those who are new to the output of Ealing Studios, this serves as an excellent starter before the sumptuous main course of its later offerings - several of which are now being issued on Blu-ray in restored versions.
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