5_This Land is Mine 2

Episode 5: This Land is Mine (part 2)

Episode Summary

Our second episode about This Land is Mine, the World War II Hollywood propaganda movie that features nice Nazis, compassionate collaborators and a surprisingly compelling pro argument for fascism.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the reaction of French critics to this movie was almost unanimously scathing, they felt the portrayal of life under occupation was uninformed, inaccurate and insulting.

But is This Land is Mine inaccurate?  Or were French critics actually upset because the film’s relatively sympathetic portrayal of Nazis and collaborators was actually more truthful than they were ready to accept?


This episode was recorded live at Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets in Melbourne.


Link to the Wikipedia article




Stuff too cool to fit in the Episode


Caz Reitops’ Dirty Secrets is an extremely cool bar, and if you’re in Melbourne you should go there.  We recorded the show in their function room, which is underground and kind of looks like an air raid shelter.  Super atmospheric (plus they make great cocktails).


My friend Sam Wilson appears in this episode.  She and I first met when we were 4 years old.  In 2002 we formed a theatre company called SNAFU Theatre, and in 2007 we co-wrote and produced a play about the British resistance called The Beginning of the End.  Also, she’s awesome.


Dr Adrian Jones was my academic guide for this episode, you can find out more about him here.


Dr Indiana Jones was not my academic guide for this episode despite his experience with Nazis, and with jumping onto moving trains (see below)



For comparison, here’s a clip of Paul in This Land is Mine jumping onto a moving train:



And here’s a clip from the very end of the movie, a scene that unlike Paul jumping onto the roof of a moving train, critics felt was overly cinematic and unrealistic.  Not included, Lorre reading aloud the first four articles of The Declaration of the Rights of Man. (But don’t worry, he read them all out earlier.  Super slowly.)



Charles Laughton’s served in World War I with the Huntingdonshire Cyclists Regiment.  Yes you read that correctly, and now you must know more, so click here.  Side note: I love old school, bog standard websites like that one.  You know whoever made it cares about their subject deeply, and they want you to know about it much more than they want to learn web design.  (Of course sometimes what they want you to know is that inter-racial marriage caused the extinction of the honeybee or whatever, but still.)




Bazin A, 1974, Jean Renoir, W.H. Allen

Callow S, 1988, Charles Laughton, A Difficult Actor, Grove PressNew York

Davis C, 2012, Postwar Renoir : film and the memory of violence, Routledge

Durgnat, R, 1974, Jean Renoir, University of California Press

Faulkner C, 2007, Jean Renoir: a conversation with his films 1894-1979, Taschen

Faulkner C, 1979, Jean Renoir : a guide to references and resources, G. K. Hall

Gassner J and Nichols D, 1943, Twenty best film plays, Crown Publishers

Leprohon P, 1971, Jean Renoir: An Investigation, Crown Publishers

O’Shaughnessy M, 2000, Jean Renoir, Manchester University Press

Sanders G, 1960, Memoirs of a Professional Cad, Hamish Hamilton

Singer K, 1954, The Charles Laughton Story, Robert Hale

Slavitt D R, 2009, George Sanders, Zsa Zsa, and me, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Ill.


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