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The Moon Is Down (1943)
The Moon Is Down DVD (Region 1) 1943. Black & White. Cedric Hardwicke, Lee J. Cobb, Henry Travers, Peter Van Eyck.
This film version of John Steinbeck's novel (and play) about the Nazi occupation of a Norwegian village during WW II is superb, despite the lack of name stars. The film opens with the invasion of Norway by the German army and the snowbound village being occupied by troops under the command of Hardwicke, an intelligent German officer of the old school who believes that Nazi cruelty and punishments only bring about acts of vengeful sabotage and needless killing. He tries to persuade local authorities to cooperate but at every turn the villagers resist. His men are killed, his phone lines cut, his rail lines blown up with dynamite dropped by British planes. He appeals to town mayor Travers but the old man is a wily opponent. Ballentine, as a traitorous Quisling, lobbies for wholesale extermination of those who have resisted the Nazi rule and Hardwicke at last concurs. Town authorities are rounded up and sent to the gallows while citizens look on in horror. A strangely beguiling, yet harsh and somber film: the Nazis are eventually defeated, but at a terrible price in Norwegian lives. Strong performance make this a compelling tale for all ages. Suitable for classrooms.
Region One. North American Format.