Carve Her Name with Pride (1958)
The true story of Violette Szabo, a heroine of the Second World War for her espionage activities on behalf of the British government. Born Violette Bushell (Virginia McKenna) to a French mother and an English father, she chances to meet Etienne Szabo (Alain Saury), a French officer, whom she later marries. They have a child, Tania, but Etienne is fatally wounded in the Battle of El Alamein. Violette is already contributing to the war effort at home, but soon discovers that her bi-lingual skills make her a potentially valuable member of England's Special Operations Executive, the country's wartime overseas espionage unit. She agrees to join and, after extensive training, is sent into France in the spring of 1944, on a mission to salvage a resistance unit in Rouen area. Szabo completes that mission successfully and returns home, intending to resume her life as a mother raising her daughter -- but she is offered a second mission in France, immediately after the Normandy landings, and accepts, with tragic consequences. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Carve Her Name with Pride
Chronicling the real-life exploits of WWII British spy Violette Szabo, the film serves its purpose and presents its subject matter in a moving and dignified manner.
Audience Reviews for Carve Her Name with Pride
WOW! I ran across this gem quite by accident. While I think it could have used a bit more active editing for tightening up, this is one emotional roller-coaster of a viewing ride. Beautiful. And based on a true story. If you are a fan of unique war movies, this is the one for you. An amazing story of true bravery and patriotism. I am instantly a Virginia McKenna fan.More
Solid filming of the story of a very brave ordinary woman and the chances she took for a cause she believed in. Excellent performances.More
Another great film I have loved since childhood! I was very lucky a few years ago to meet the granddaughter of Violette Szabo and I had a fantastic conversation with her about this story. Should be compulsory viewing!!!More
Wanting to do the right thing and bring a French soldier home for a dinner hosted by her French mother(Denise Grey), Violette(Virginia McKenna) meets Etienne(Alain Saury) in the park and invites him along. Romance soon blossoms between Violette and Etienne and in the sole moment when her friend Winnie(Billie Whitelaw) is not present to chaperone them, Etienne proposes marriage. They have a baby, Tania, while he is fighting in World War II. Sadly, he dies in the Battle of El Alamein. Six months later, Violette is summoned to the pensions department to see Potter(Sydney Tafler) who asks her if she would like a pension of her own as a liaison to the French resistance...
...and that's where "Carve Her Name with Pride"(based on a true story) should have started. The movie tries to infer that Violette is motivated to volunteer by Etienne's heroism but I feel she would have done so anyway because World War II was a time when ordinary people were called on to do extraordinary things for their country. Rather, I think the movie is structured this way to establish without a doubt the baby was not born out of wedlock(Quelle horreur!) and to set up the emotional payoff, allowing the movie to unfortunately slide into being a cliched soap opera at times. From what I can see here, Violette was extraordinary but the movie, left in a conflicted position of not knowing what to do with a female action hero, was made at a time not long after women were told to return to the safety of their homes to be just mothers.
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