The OM and I watched a little known British film the other night called Went the Day Well? (1942). Adapted from a story by Graham Greene and directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, it is a classic black and white Ealing studio film that tells the story of how an English village is taken over by Nazi paratroopers pretending to be English troops. It reflects the greatest potential nightmare of many at the time.
I thought it was quite a shocking film and very suspenseful. The Germans are evil, of course, and the English, at first, are innocent and trusting.
The violence (although nothing like the violence in Hacksaw Ridge) is also shocking. The vicar is murdered! The postmistress is bayonetted! Children are threatened and one plucky boy is shot! You want to shake your fist at the goddam Nazis and grab a tommy gun and mow them down yourself, so it is very satisfying when the townspeople finally wise up and take matters into their own hands, i.e. they fight back. I wanted to cheer when the vicar’s homely daughter, who has been nursing a crush on the village squire, kills him before he can let the Nazis into the barricaded manor house.
It seems an appropriate choice to watch this movie on the anniversary of D-Day, don’t you think?