TV Cream

Films: W is for...

Went The Day Well?

A fantastic (ie well written, brilliantly made, and surprisingly level-headed) piece of wartime propaganda (which we always thought was courtesy The Archers, but it’s actually an Alberto ‘Dead of Night’ Cavalcanti by way of Graeme Greene) with undercover Nazis invading the quiet village of Bramley End, and the locals (including, among many others, Thora Hird, Patricia Hayes and Arnold Ridley) slowly wising up and fighting back. Far more objective and vicious than you’d expect, and so far better than it has any right to be. And any film that starts with one of the characters doing an introductory monologue to camera is always going to be top rate.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    September 28, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Perhaps the greatest war film of the 1940s, filmed at the height of World War Two, when Britain was still at risk of invasion and Germany was at its most powerful, and about something that could actually happen, a group of Nazis dressed as British soldiers occupying a village and being aided by a collaborator. I wonder if Went The Day Well scared its audience in 1942, but fortunately it had a happy ending with all the Nazis killed.

    • THX 1139

      September 29, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      Reportedly WWII audiences loved WTDW? because it was so violent, they’d never seen anything like it. They weren’t bothered about the propaganda, they just got off on seeing the brutality! Plus ca change…

      • Glenn Aylett

        September 29, 2019 at 2:25 pm

        It was a fantastic film and still highly regarded now. I know The Eagle Has Landed touched on the same theme, Germans disguised as British soldjers, but the Germans in TEHL were borderline nice, while the ones in WTDW were what audiences expected them to be, arrogant, callous, cruel and humourless. Always love it when the old lady offs a Nazi with an axe.

  2. Applemask

    September 30, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    I’m always confusing it with The Archers too, but that was Ill Met By Moonlight. Wild Bill Shakespeare rather than J. M. Edmonds. Also well after the war.

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