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This Land Is Mine

   

This Land is Mine (1943) starring Charles Laughton, George Sanders, Maureen O’Hara, Walter Slezak

This Land is Mine is the story of a Nazi-occupied town in France, where a meek schoolteacher is accused of murdering a resistance fighter. He’s in love with the dead man’s sister, and is later tried for killing a Nazi collaborator.

Review

This Land is Mine is the story of what happened to Nazi collabortators during World War II. What happened both externally … and internally. How outwardly brave men reveal their inner cowardice. And how a timid, mild schoolteacher finds his courage. It’s a riveting movie, and highly recommended.

Cast of characters

  • Charles Laughton (Witness for the Prosecution, Les Miserables 1935) … Albert Lory. The timid, mild schoolteacher. Surprising even himself, he finds the inner courage to stand up.
  • Maureen O’Hara (The Quiet Man, Dance Girl Dance) … Louise Martin. Paul’s sister, George’s fiancée. The lovely young schoolteacher. She falls out of love with George, as he collaborates with the Nazis. She later falls in love with Albert as he stands.
  • George Sanders (Village of the Damned, Picture of Dorian Gray) … George Lambert, the railway station master. Albert’s opposite number. The man who thought he was brave and courageous. But bends the knee to the Nazis, and becomes rich in the process. And tries to get Albert to do the same. For the “greater good”, of course.
  • Walter Slezak (The Pirate, The Inspector General) … Major Erich von Keller. The Nazi District Commandant. He wants to maintain the illusion that the occupied city is still free. In return for citizen cooperation, of course.
  • Kent Smith (The Fountainhead, Cat People) … Paul Martin. Like the mayor, he’s collaborating with the Nazis, and enriching himself.
  • Una O’Connor (The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein) … Emma Lory
  • Philip Merivale (The Stranger) … Professor Sorel. He also stands against the Nazi occupation. And, pays the price for it.
  • Thurston Hall (Blondie on a Budget, I Dood It) … Mayor Henry Manville. He encourages citizen cooperation to maintain peace. While lining his pockets from the Nazis.
  • George Coulouris … Prosecutor. “I demand that the courtroom be cleared!”
  • Nancy Gates … Julie Grant
  • Ivan F. Simpson … Judge
  • John Donat … Edmund Lorraine

Editorial review of This Land is Mine courtesy of Amazon.com

When Nazi troops seize his town, timid schoolmaster Albert Lory (Charles Laughton) submits to his new masters, although he cannot help but be inspired by the defiance of many of his fellow citizens. Then Albert is hauled before a tribunal, falsely accused of murder. Standing alone against the power of the Third Reich, this seemingly weak man then reveals an invincible soul. Three of cinema’s most acclaimed talents – Laughton, director Jean Renoir (Grand Illusion) and screenwriter Dudley Nichols (Stagecoach) — unite for this moving portrait of the heroism of everyday men and women. The stellar cast includes Maureen O’Hara (Laughton’s protégée and his The Hunchback of Notre Dame costar) as the colleague he secretly loves, George Sanders as a covert collaborator, and Walter Slezak as a wily Nazi officer who holds Albert’s fate in his hands. “A courageous film…a story cleanly and maturely told” (Bosley Crowther, The New York Times).

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