“Went The Day Well,” directed by Alberto Cavalcanti

Movie, 1942

Ealing film about the effects on and efforts of a plucky set of English villagers in their attempts to repel a German occupation in the Second World War. The usual nose thumbing and triumphant underdog which works so well in the studio’s comedies just about translates, but it’s a strain which – without a few decent performances – could have been in real peril. Hardly, then, a really vital or essential film, but nor is it the cringe-fest or overt propaganda it might have been. The mechanics and psychology of the villagers in the face of a real rather than a megalomaniacal unlikely, or comedic challenge gives the film a downbeat, thoughtful feel, though there’s a reasonable balance and a lack of hysteria, which may have been expected, given the time the film was made.

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