Went the Day Well? (1942)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

When Churchill said we'd fight the Nazis on beaches, landing grounds, fields, streets and hills, he left out the church-yard, manorhouse, pub and village-green. But in this stirring, startlingly violent (for its time) masterwork of WW2 propaganda, that's exactly where the plucky locals of Bramley End engage the enemy. Inspired by a Graham Greene short story, this is a true hidden gem of our national cinema.
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
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Leslie Banks
as Oliver Wilsford
Basil Sydney
as Maj. Ortler
Frank Lawton
as Tom Sturry
Valerie Taylor
as Nora Ashton
Edward Rigby
as Poacher
Marie Lohr
as Mrs. Frazer
C.V. France
as Vicar
David Farrar
as Jung, German Officer
Muriel George
as Mrs. Collins
Thora Hird
as Land Girl
Harry Fowler
as George Truscott
Hilda Bayley
as Cousin Maud
John Slater
as German Sergeant
Johnnie Schofield
as Joe Garbett
Grace Arnold
as Mrs. Owen
Ellis Irving
as Harry Drew
Norman Pierce
as Jim Sturry
Victor Weske
as Axed German Soldier
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Critic Reviews for Went the Day Well?

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

One of the most subversive films to come out of World War II, a British drama that was unsettling in its day and is even more so now.

Full Review… | October 13, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Part paranoid propaganda, part thriller and part quaint period study, Went the Day Well? is an entertaining oddity begging for an update.

Full Review… | July 15, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

Home-front propaganda has rarely seemed so cutthroat or so cunning; for Americans, the chance to see this rarity is an opportunity to indulge in the sort of cinematic ecstasy that makes us obsessed with movies in the first place.

Full Review… | May 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Still truly unnerving, one can only imagine how terrifying it must have been for audiences facing the very real threat of Nazi enslavement.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Graham Greene has written a good story but the scripting is indifferent, banal at times, and the direction lacks cohesion.

Full Review… | February 17, 2016
Monthly Film Bulletin

The rarely seen film, a gem, is loosely based on a 1940 magazine story by Graham Greene.

Full Review… | April 11, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Went the Day Well?

WENT THE DAY WELL? is a marvelous piece of WW II propaganda. The restored print is super and so definitely worth seeing. This is a rip roaring tribute to the best of England. Engaging, witty, and very much a film to get one in the mood for war, WENT is quite divine at times. Never as great as the greatest similar prop piece, MRS. MINIVER, but for film nuts, WENT is a must see. So great that films like this are being restored and distributed. Bravo to Rialto Pictures for bringing this the US.

Michael Lupetin
Michael Lupetin

started out slow and boring, but ended up getting quite good, it wasnt afraid to pull punches, with a lot of good guys getting killed, and a lot of on screen deaths, nowhere near as good as graham greenes masterpiece the third man, but still quality

Daniel Sloyan
Daniel Sloyan

Went the day well? Now that you mention it, Saturday, May 23, 1942, started off nicely enough in the hamlet of Bramley End with the preparations for a wedding being a particular highlight. Major Hammond(Basil Sydney) creates quite a stir when he and his men show up unannounced for military exercises but everything eventually works out as the vicar(C.V. France) agrees to house the soldiers in the village hall. Unbeknowst to everybody except for Oliver Wilsford(Leslie Banks) because frankly he is a traitorous rat bastard, the soldiers are really Nazis, ordered to secure the village and block communications for a planned invasion of England. However, the villagers start to get suspicious which calls for Plan B. "Went the Day Well?" might have originally been conceived as just another propaganda movie during World War II to urge the people of England to be ever vigilant and reminding them that no place is truly safe.(For the record, I put a slash through my 7's because my atrocious handwriting needs all the help it can get.) But the material is handled exceptionally well, turning this into an exciting thriller that thrives on the details of village life which makes the sense of loss that much greater in its depiction of ordinary people rising to new heights under extraordinary circumstances.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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