213. Went the Day Well? (1942)

Film 81 in C4 Top 100 War Films

Masquerading as British soldiers on a training exercise, pesky Nazis invade a genteel English village. Only an observant vicar’s daughter and a young lad notice anything astray at first, but when German chocolate is discovered, and odd-looking number sevens are found written on discarded envelopes, then things begin to look very suspicious.

Unfortunately, the local squire is a bad ‘un and in league with the infiltrators, who are planning a full-scale invasion of Britain. But when the telegram lady is murdered, and the young men in the Home Guard are accosted and shot, it’s up to the locals, including the canny land girls (a young Thora Hird) to save the village and ultimately the whole country.

Of course, it’s pure propaganda, using scare tactics to ensure that everyone keeps their eyes and ears open. But although the film isn’t bad, it’s not great either, with a similar plot to the much more entertaining The Eagle Has Landed. However, saying that, it’s a vast improvement on some of the other propaganda films of the time, which were often rather twee. Went the Day Well? is different in that it is dangerous, thrilling and cutthroat in the way it handles the possible invasion.


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