Went the Day Well?

Watch Went the Day Well?

"Went the day well? We died and never knew. But, well or ill, freedom we died for you."
  • Approved
  • 1944
  • 1 hr 32 min
  • 7.5  (4,285)

"Went the Day Well?" is a British propaganda film from 1942, directed by Alberto Cavalcanti and starring Leslie Banks, C.V. France, and Valerie Taylor. Set in a fictional English village during World War II, the movie tells the story of a group of German soldiers who infiltrate the town with the intention of taking it over as a base for the impending invasion.

The film opens on a peaceful summer day in the village of Bramley End, where the locals are going about their daily lives. But the calm is soon shattered when a group of soldiers arrive in the town, claiming to be part of a Royal Engineers unit working on upgrading the nearby airfield. The villagers are initially bemused but helpful, welcoming the soldiers and offering them food and lodgings.

However, as the soldiers start to make themselves at home, it becomes clear that something isn't quite right. They seem more interested in the town's defenses and strategic location than in their supposed work at the airfield. Some of the villagers become suspicious, including a young woman named Nora (Valerie Taylor), who begins to investigate the soldiers' background.

It soon transpires that the soldiers are in fact German paratroopers, led by a Colonel Schlick (played with cold efficiency by Basil Sydney). Their plan is to take over the town and use it as a base for the impending invasion of Britain. But the villagers aren't going to go down without a fight. Led by Leslie Banks' stoic and determined Oliver Wilsford, the locals band together to defend their homes and their country.

The plot of the movie may sound simplistic and even a little clichéd today, but it's important to remember that "Went the Day Well?" was made during a time of war, and its primary purpose was to encourage British morale and promote the idea of resistance against the Germans. As a propaganda piece, it is incredibly effective. The tension builds slowly but steadily throughout the film, and the sense of dread and danger is palpable by the time the soldiers' true intentions are revealed.

What is perhaps most interesting about the movie is the way it plays with ideas of identity and loyalty. The invading soldiers are shown to be intelligent, resourceful, and even sympathetic at times, making it clear that the enemy wasn't just a faceless horde but a real and dangerous threat. At the same time, the film celebrates the courage and tenacity of the ordinary British people who refused to be defeated.

"Went the Day Well?" might not be remembered as a classic of cinema, but it's a unique and intriguing artifact of its time. It's certainly worth watching for its historical and cultural significance, as well as for its gripping narrative and strong performances. Despite its age and obvious propaganda agenda, it still manages to pack a powerful emotional punch. Ultimately, it's a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Went the Day Well? is a 1944 war movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.

Went the Day Well?
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (4,285)