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"Went The Day Well?" Included in the Blu Ray Set "Their Finest Hour" From The Film Movement. (1 Viewer)

RobertMG

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Thanks to The Home Theater Forum for letting me share this one review.


Good show Film Movement in fact 'ripping!"
With Christmas days away we heartily recommend you grab this set in either Blu Ray or DVD!
This GREAT set should be on every film collector's shelf and in a prominent spot because they are all outstanding WWII War films for which the Brits excelled at making, some in fact being made while Britain was under the terror of the Nazi Blitzkrieg. This set should be a purchase just in fact for one title, 1942's "Went The Day Well?" Directed by famed Brazilian Alberto Cavalcanti whose segments "The Ventriloquist" and "The Christmas Party" in the classic 1945 "Dead Of Night" still packs a lot of frights. Cavalcanti as he was known brought this stunningly violent and quite terrifyingly realistic for 1942 depiction of Nazi soldiers not just the type of depictions being seen in Hollywood's film to a shocked audience in England.

Hollywood was focused on the horrors of the fight the United States was facing against the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. The cast is simply superb a who's who of Britain's screen personalities, Leslie Banks (known in the states for his role in 1932's The Most Dangerous Game), John Mills, Mervyn Johns, Basil Sydney (later to get great exposure worldwide in Disney's "Treasure Island" 1950) Muriel George, Frank Lawton, Marie Lohr and many others.

"Look funny don't they? Germany names in a English Churchyard, they wanted England these Gerry's did and this is the only bit they got." These words said by the marvelous actor Mervyn Johns as he stands by a grave marker in a English Cemetery immediately will draw you in as it did to I as I got comfortable in my easy chair. The film starts of slowly, introducing us to the various townspeople who will be part of the story that will take this quaint and easy going English community to the depths of hell as they realize their very neighbors whom they have lived alongside for years were never what they portrayed themselves to be. I find myself in a pickle, as not to tell the details of the story that would ruin the impact of the film especially in taking the larger picture of the time in which the film was produced and the result of the film being that the audiences would leave the theater with them thinking if their neighbors could be trusted? Could they be something other than loyal Brits? Were they loyal to King and country or were they settled in England after the first World War and integrated into the community only to wait for the order to act for the Third Reich and the Fuhrer? Here in the States we had Warner Bros' make the 1939 "Confessions Of A Nazi Spy" which told of the horrors of the Nazis, yet largely the people of America wanted no part of another war so while Europe was attacked in 1939 and the Brits getting drawn in to the second World War and Paris falling it would take Pearl Harbor to draw the USA into the conflict. Every performance in "Went The Day Well?" is pitch perfect, Leslie Banks is quite the deceiver here as is Basil Sydney. One of the most delicious moments in the film is Banks undoing, once the arc of the story takes over the film and the horrors are unrelenting, one of the most stunningly horrific scenes is the violence that meets Mrs. Collins (Muriel George) the lady in charge of the telephone service for the village, when she takes the chance, the only chance to get on the phone and warn the authorities of the village's terror that if not exposed will threaten all of England the brutality she faces is truly horrific and heart wrenching. Compare this scene to the scene in MGM's wartime masterpiece "Mrs. Miniver" when a Nazi soldier winds up in the Miniver home.
It has been said that great Brit WWII era films like "In Which We Serve" or Powell and Pressburger's "The 49th Parallel" were the greatest British propaganda war films ever made. But once you view "Went The Day Well?" there is no doubt you will agree this film deserves that title. Our love of Brit War Films is well known, loving especially the films that were actually produced during the war, like "The Way Ahead," and especially the aforementioned "In Which We Serve," and "One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing" which cleverly flips Powell and Pressburger's "The 49th Parallel." I had never seen "Went The Day Well?" until the much missed Robert Osborne introduced it about seven years ago on TCM. The thrill of now owning this little known masterpiece is worth the set alone but I am eagerly ready to dig in and watch the rest of the critically acclaimed films in this set - "The Dam Busters," "The Colditz Story," "Dunkirk," and "Ice Cold In Alex,"
The set is brimming with extras although none support "Went The day Well?" The BFI has done outstanding work in preserving these important time capsules of the era and the films made in the years that followed WWII. Image quality on "Went The Day Well?" is rendered quite nicely on Blu Ray with crisp and clear images and wonderful black and white photography. The sound too is reproduced fine on par with films of the era. I never have a problem with some of the Brit's accents in these old film although once in a while you might need to scan back a bit and replay a snippet of dialogue. The Film Movement gave us the wonderful Alastair Sim set in 2020 and this essential WWII based set, they continue to mine the BFI catalog through great companies such as Studio Canal! If you have friends or family members that love old WWII movies or perhaps you do and want to gift yourself a keeper grab this set in time for the holidays - you will love every minute of "Went The Day Well?" And the rest of the films are pretty darn great too!



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Keith Cobby

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Agree with Robert, Went the Day Well is the outstanding British war film because it was made during WW2 (released December 1942). The beginning narration takes place after WW2 has been won and then looks back, but when the film was made there can have been no guarantee as to the outcome.
 

RobertMG

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Agree with Robert, Went the Day Well is the outstanding British war film because it was made during WW2 (released December 1942). The beginning narration takes place after WW2 has been won and then looks back, but when the film was made there can have been no guarantee as to the outcome.
Thanks Keith - thanks for the info, I tried finding a New York Times review from the films debut in NYC - cannot find one. This set really went under the radar - and boy was Robert Osborne spot on when he introduced this film on TCM - miss him every day. Our friends the Brits made the best WWII films and most of the them during the war. Interestingly they moved the production of 1940's The Thief Of Bagdad to the USA because of the war. Here is what the set looks like - -
1639516676576.png
 

RobertMG

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Seen Went The Day Well? a few times and it's a good film. I miss Robert Osborne too.
What got me is the level of violence for a 1942 film is horrific - excellent film making and stunning propaganda to rouse the British public and quite effective - compare that to films made in the USA - I think the best USA War film was The Best Years Of Our Lives hands down.
 

Capt Cheese Pro

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Thanks to The Home Theater Forum for letting me share this one review.


Good show Film Movement in fact 'ripping!"
With Christmas days away we heartily recommend you grab this set in either Blu Ray or DVD!
This GREAT set should be on every film collector's shelf and in a prominent spot because they are all outstanding WWII War films for which the Brits excelled at making, some in fact being made while Britain was under the terror of the Nazi Blitzkrieg. This set should be a purchase just in fact for one title, 1942's "Went The Day Well?" Directed by famed Brazilian Alberto Cavalcanti whose segments "The Ventriloquist" and "The Christmas Party" in the classic 1945 "Dead Of Night" still packs a lot of frights. Cavalcanti as he was known brought this stunningly violent and quite terrifyingly realistic for 1942 depiction of Nazi soldiers not just the type of depictions being seen in Hollywood's film to a shocked audience in England.

Hollywood was focused on the horrors of the fight the United States was facing against the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. The cast is simply superb a who's who of Britain's screen personalities, Leslie Banks (known in the states for his role in 1932's The Most Dangerous Game), John Mills, Mervyn Johns, Basil Sydney (later to get great exposure worldwide in Disney's "Treasure Island" 1950) Muriel George, Frank Lawton, Marie Lohr and many others.

"Look funny don't they? Germany names in a English Churchyard, they wanted England these Gerry's did and this is the only bit they got." These words said by the marvelous actor Mervyn Johns as he stands by a grave marker in a English Cemetery immediately will draw you in as it did to I as I got comfortable in my easy chair. The film starts of slowly, introducing us to the various townspeople who will be part of the story that will take this quaint and easy going English community to the depths of hell as they realize their very neighbors whom they have lived alongside for years were never what they portrayed themselves to be. I find myself in a pickle, as not to tell the details of the story that would ruin the impact of the film especially in taking the larger picture of the time in which the film was produced and the result of the film being that the audiences would leave the theater with them thinking if their neighbors could be trusted? Could they be something other than loyal Brits? Were they loyal to King and country or were they settled in England after the first World War and integrated into the community only to wait for the order to act for the Third Reich and the Fuhrer? Here in the States we had Warner Bros' make the 1939 "Confessions Of A Nazi Spy" which told of the horrors of the Nazis, yet largely the people of America wanted no part of another war so while Europe was attacked in 1939 and the Brits getting drawn in to the second World War and Paris falling it would take Pearl Harbor to draw the USA into the conflict. Every performance in "Went The Day Well?" is pitch perfect, Leslie Banks is quite the deceiver here as is Basil Sydney. One of the most delicious moments in the film is Banks undoing, once the arc of the story takes over the film and the horrors are unrelenting, one of the most stunningly horrific scenes is the violence that meets Mrs. Collins (Muriel George) the lady in charge of the telephone service for the village, when she takes the chance, the only chance to get on the phone and warn the authorities of the village's terror that if not exposed will threaten all of England the brutality she faces is truly horrific and heart wrenching. Compare this scene to the scene in MGM's wartime masterpiece "Mrs. Miniver" when a Nazi soldier winds up in the Miniver home.
It has been said that great Brit WWII era films like "In Which We Serve" or Powell and Pressburger's "The 49th Parallel" were the greatest British propaganda war films ever made. But once you view "Went The Day Well?" there is no doubt you will agree this film deserves that title. Our love of Brit War Films is well known, loving especially the films that were actually produced during the war, like "The Way Ahead," and especially the aforementioned "In Which We Serve," and "One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing" which cleverly flips Powell and Pressburger's "The 49th Parallel." I had never seen "Went The Day Well?" until the much missed Robert Osborne introduced it about seven years ago on TCM. The thrill of now owning this little known masterpiece is worth the set alone but I am eagerly ready to dig in and watch the rest of the critically acclaimed films in this set - "The Dam Busters," "The Colditz Story," "Dunkirk," and "Ice Cold In Alex,"
The set is brimming with extras although none support "Went The day Well?" The BFI has done outstanding work in preserving these important time capsules of the era and the films made in the years that followed WWII. Image quality on "Went The Day Well?" is rendered quite nicely on Blu Ray with crisp and clear images and wonderful black and white photography. The sound too is reproduced fine on par with films of the era. I never have a problem with some of the Brit's accents in these old film although once in a while you might need to scan back a bit and replay a snippet of dialogue. The Film Movement gave us the wonderful Alastair Sim set in 2020 and this essential WWII based set, they continue to mine the BFI catalog through great companies such as Studio Canal! If you have friends or family members that love old WWII movies or perhaps you do and want to gift yourself a keeper grab this set in time for the holidays - you will love every minute of "Went The Day Well?" And the rest of the films are pretty darn great too!



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View attachment 121177
View attachment 121178
Well done Rob, I agree, Hollywood created evil cartoons of both the Japanese and Natzis. Making them less human, if they had depicted them as seen in these films I'm sure the US would have looked more faverably towards involvment in WW2.
The Britsh film companies were amazing, bring you into the storylines and getting you in middle of it!! Thanks again for this insightfull review!!
 

RobertMG

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Well done Rob, I agree, Hollywood created evil cartoons of both the Japanese and Natzis. Making them less human, if they had depicted them as seen in these films I'm sure the US would have looked more faverably towards involvment in WW2.
The Britsh film companies were amazing, bring you into the storylines and getting you in middle of it!! Thanks again for this insightfull review!!
Thanks my friend! The only realistic war film to come out of Hollywood during the war was The Best Years Of Our Lives - the film is being shown at Eastman Houses theater in Rochester I think next week. Wish Fathom Events would show it! I will forever be grateful to Robert Osborne for introducing me to "Went The Day Well?" When you get the space for another set pick up this outstanding collection, knowing your taste you will love this set!
 

David_B_K

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Thanks my friend! The only realistic war film to come out of Hollywood during the war was The Best Years Of Our Lives - the film is being shown at Eastman Houses theater in Rochester I think next week. Wish Fathom Events would show it! I will forever be grateful to Robert Osborne for introducing me to "Went The Day Well?" When you get the space for another set pick up this outstanding collection, knowing your taste you will love this set!

I think They Were Expendable had a pretty high degree of realism; but it came out just after the war I believe.
 

Capt Cheese Pro

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But it IS a war film. Best Years occurs right after the war, when the vets come home.
So is Saving Private Ryan...but I was talking about the WW2 propaganda machine coming out of Hollywood during the war. Creating the visual "steam" needed to fight an enemy the public saw only in gross charatures of Natzis and Japanese...
 

Keith Cobby

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There's clearly a difference between films made after the war dramatising events and those made during the war for propaganda purposes. What makes Went The Day Well special is that it assumes victory before this could be assured. The first time I watched it, I had to check the date as I couldn't believe it hadn't been made after 1945.
 

RobertMG

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I think They Were Expendable had a pretty high degree of realism; but it came out just after the war I believe.
Agreed I think Destination Tokyo starring Cary grant was one of the greatest Warners did, NOT cartoonish, but it focused on the Japan-USA angle. Fox's Guadalcanal Diary also one of the best. They Were Expendable Dec 31, 1945. But if u haven't grabbed the set "Their Finest Hour" make a gift of it to yourself really show the grit the brits were made of.
 

RobertMG

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But it IS a war film. Best Years occurs right after the war, when the vets come home.
I do consider "Best" a war film but you are right shows u what our fighting men lost while they were at battle and then the re-adjustment to being home - stunning filmmaking - also Till The End Of Time is similar in angle.
 

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