Pauline (Pauline Murray) is an Irish-born nurse who’s been evacuated from her rural village by the Germans and their collaborators and relocated to London; in the process, several of her friends are shot and killed in the crossfire resulting from a battle between the “relocators” and a group of British partisans. Pauline is apolitical when it comes to choosing sides in the conflict, but she’s seething with anger at the needless death of her friends…and once arriving in London, learns that she’ll have to join the Immediate Action Organization (IAO) if she wants to continue nursing. The effects of the IAO’s indoctrination quickly take hold of Pauline, and she begins to exhibit traces of fascism in her behavior despite the efforts of an old friend—Dr. Richard Fletcher (Sebastian Shaw)—to dispel her of such dangerous notions.
|Thrilling Days of Yesteryear hero Kevin Brownlow|
In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914) and The Connection (1961). Milestone is currently having a “Dog Days of Summer” sale at their website, with select DVDs going for $10-15 and Blu-rays at $20. Ordinarily, I’d snatch up every Milestone release that I don’t already own during such an event…but because the fundage situation at Rancho Yesteryear continues to be a bleak one I could only afford one selection, and It Happened Here made the cut. (You’ll find several of their releases that have been reviewed here on the blog for sale, including Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room.)
The first reel of It Happened Here is a little rough in the audio/visual department, but once you’re past that I think you’ll be blown away by how splendid the production is despite its microbudget. Because it was a shoestring operation, Brownlow and Rollo had to rely on a lot of amateur talent save for a few professionals like Sebastian Shaw, Reginald Marsh (“Sir” from The Good Life/Good Neighbors), and Fiona Leland. Pauline Murray, who plays the nurse (also named “Pauline Murray”), was a bit intimidated (despite having appeared in an earlier movie in 1948) about performing alongside those accomplished performers as Brownlow related in The Independent:
|Pauline Murray in a scene from the film|