Went the Day Well? | 1942 | Leslie Banks, Basil Sydney

Classic Second World War Ealing propaganda thriller, based on a story by Graham Greene, and directed by Alberto Cavalcanti. The storyline (which has some resemblance to The Eagle Has Landed) evokes with a convincing passion the determination of a nation that had to be defended against an invader.

The setting is a small English village that is so cut off that the arrival of a car is an event. When lorryloads of Royal Engineers led by Major Ortler (Basil Sydney) turn up, the villagers have no reason to suspect that they are really disguised German paratroopers, and that the squire, Oliver Wilsford (Leslie Banks), is a Fifth Columnist. The villagers eagerly billet the soldiers but slowly their suspicions are aroused (the visitors cross their sevens, for example, and misspell words like ‘chocolate’). However, the Germans move first and the village is held captive. Suspense mounts as the villagers attempt to outwit the enemy.

Leslie Banks as Oliver Wilsford
Mervyn Johns as Charles Sims
Marie Lohr as Mrs Fraser
Basil Sydney as Major Hammond / Kommandant Orlter
Edward Rigby as Bill Purvis
C.V. France as The Vicar
Valerie Taylor as Nora
Norman Pierce as Jim Sturry
Frank Lawton as Tom Sturry
Muriel George as Mrs. Collins
Elizabeth Allan as Peggy
Thora Hird as Ivy
Patricia Hayes as Daisy
Hilda Bayley as Cousin Maud
Johnny Schofield as Joe Garbett
Ellis Irving as Harry Drew
Philippa Hiatt as Mrs. Bates
Grace Arnold as Mrs. Owen
David Farrar as Lieutenant Jung
John Slater as Sergeant
Eric Micklewood as Soldier

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Script: Angus MacPhail John Dighton Diana Morgan Graham Greene

UK | Ealing | 88 minutes | 1942


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