Went The Day Well?

An work of propaganda made during the Second World War by Ealing that sought to remind viewers of the threat posed by German fifth columnists; in this film, based on a Graham Greene story, a group of Wehrmacht soldiers infiltrates a quaint English village, tricking the villagers into thinking they are natives by employing British Army uniforms and a variety of plummy accents. It’s fun, and the script is full of double entendres while the locals still remain oblivious to the Nazis in their midst, though once the cat is out of the bag Went The Day Well? lacks intrigue. This was of course a very real and pressing issue at the time of the film’s release, and the key message – that every citizen is fighting the war, not just those on the front line – is clearly made. The fighting at the end is understandably restrained. (***)