This Land Is Mine

1943, Drama, 1h 43m

7 Reviews 100+ Ratings

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Movie Info

In a Nazi-occupied European nation, Albert Lory (Charles Laughton) is a meek schoolmaster who is dominated by both his students and his elderly mother, Emma (Una O'Connor). Though Albert is initially wary of efforts to oppose the invading soldiers, he changes his tune after he's falsely accused of murder. He begins to make rousing speeches against the Nazis and their collaborators, prompting Maj. Erich von Keller (Walter Slezak) to offer Albert a pardon if he aids the Nazi cause.

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Critic Reviews for This Land Is Mine

Audience Reviews for This Land Is Mine

  • Apr 28, 2010
    In "This Land Is Mine," lonely schoolteacher Albert(Charles Laughton, who is superb) finds there is something more frightening than his domineering mother(Una O'Connor) when the Nazis occupy his village. As usual, his students do not respect him, even though his fellow schoolteacher Louise(Maureen O'Hara), who he has a crush on, is kind to him but then she is engaged to George(George Sanders), the manager of the railyards where her brother Paul(Kent Smith) works. Regardless, Albert and Louise follow orders and tear out pages in the history books that do not correspond with the Nazis' narrow view of history. Major von Keller(Walter Slezak) just wants everything to be business as usual but then there is a suspicious accident at the railyards... On the surface, there are certain similarities between "This Land Is Mine" and Jean Renoir's previous "Grand Illusion" about camaraderie between supposed enemies. In the six years between the films, the world had changed radically(not to mention the films are about different wars) and while the Nazis in "This Land Is Mine" might at first seem polite and urbane(von Keller certainly knows his Latin), the villagers should never view them as friends, as food shortages and censorship are only the beginning, much worse being hinted at. What Renoir has on his mind is not a recruitment film, but more a call to arms of sorts against tyranny of all shapes and sizes that displays more than one form of courage.(Ostensibly, the movie is set in France but it could be anywhere.) All of which is handled in a nuanced style and is well-filmed, especially its opening shot and two action sequences. While the movie might follow a familiar trajectory with a climactic speech, it is a perfectly eloquent speech.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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