This Land Is Mine

  • 1943
  • Movie
  • NR
  • War

Set "somewhere in Europe" (clearly Jean Renoir's French homeland), THIS LAND IS MINE stars Charles Laughton as a cowardly schoolteacher, Arthur Lory, who whimpers during air raids and can only be comforted by his overly possessive mother (Una O'Connor). Arthur chooses to keep a low profile and go about his business unnoticed until his mentor, Prof. Sorel...read more

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Set "somewhere in Europe" (clearly Jean Renoir's French homeland), THIS LAND IS MINE stars Charles Laughton as a cowardly schoolteacher, Arthur Lory, who whimpers during air raids and can only be comforted by his overly possessive mother (Una O'Connor). Arthur chooses to keep a low

profile and go about his business unnoticed until his mentor, Prof. Sorel (Philip Merivale), lights a patriotic spark in him. Aware of his cowardice, he turns to fellow schoolteacher Louise Martin (Maureen O'Hara), who is sympathetic both to his fears and to the cause of the Resistance, of which

her brother Paul (Kent Smith) is an active member who throws bombs at German officers. As much as he tries to remain neutral, Arthur finds himself increasingly sympathetic to the Resistance movement.

Although some consider THIS LAND IS MINE preachy and overly talky, it must be praised for its understanding of humanity. Instead of painting the Germans as mighty evildoers and the French as innocent victims, Renoir took a more daring and honest approach, implicating the French as being partly

responsible for the Occupation, when many citizens collaborated with the Nazis to ensure that they would remain immune from punishment and that their orderly lives would not be shattered by the invaders. Renoir avoided propagandistic cliches and took into consideration human nature; human nature,

however, is not what people look for in war heroes and patriotic messages. Although long considered a propaganda film, THIS LAND IS MINE is more correctly seen as anti-propagandistic. There is no black and white, no good or evil. There is only grey, and, in that grey area, an understanding of the

frailty of human nature.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Set "somewhere in Europe" (clearly Jean Renoir's French homeland), THIS LAND IS MINE stars Charles Laughton as a cowardly schoolteacher, Arthur Lory, who whimpers during air raids and can only be comforted by his overly possessive mother (Una O'Connor). Ar… (more)

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