This Land Is Mine

Written by Joe D on January 22nd, 2011

What can I say, the great Jean Renoir working at RKO in the 40’s with Charles Laughton, no less! A powerful combo, also starring the beautiful protege of Laughton’s , Maureen O’Hara and as added treats RKO stock players George “I am bored with Life” Sanders and Cat People’s Kent Smith, in a very good performance I might add. The film seems kind of slapped together in a rush but a beautiful rush of enthusiasm, patriotism and little money. I wonder if Dudley Nichols wanted to create something inspirational for people living under Nazi occupation and everyone joined in and made this film from nothing, shot on the back lots and Euro streets of RKO, the filmmakers manage to create a convincing French town albeit small. Then there are the wonderful scenes on trains as Kent Smith tries to escape his Nazi pursuers. Renoir loved trains and this sequence shot on location is a prime example of his fascination with their mechanical majesty. It’s funny how trains and cinema go together so well, from the very first days (to be continued)

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