The Pied Piper (1942)

BBBB

(out of 5)


 is a Brit enjoying a vacation in France after most of the country has fallen to the Nazi occupiers.  Travelling home is going to be a significant challenge, made that much more difficult when the couple running his inn beg him to take their children (, ) with him to London until they can be reunited.  He agrees, begrudgingly, setting off on their journey and, without meaning to, picking up more children in increasingly devastating circumstances along the way.  The mean old man constantly insists that he can’t stand the tykes but is clearly far too good a soul to leave the little heartbreakers to fend for themselves.  This touching, genuine film focusing on the plight of the young suffering devastation in Europe is made with a great deal of optimism despite the fact that the war was far from being won, given smart complexity by Woolley’s performance in the lead.  When you get to the final third, where our hero squares off against a Nazi officer (), the plot takes a disingenuous turn that even the most naive person would find hard to believe, ruining any chance that director Irving Pichel had of moving beyond his reputation for B-level pictures and into the world of prestige.  This, combined with a dissatisfying ending, mar what could have been a sterling classic, but the kids are all perfect charmers, none of them coming off as annoying child stars, and the urgency of the subject matter is felt. is lovely in a supporting role.


USA, 1942

Directed by Irving Pichel

Screenplay by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by Nunnally Johnson

Music by

Production Design by ,

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Academy Award Nominations
Best Actor (Monty Woolley as “Howard”)
Best Cinematography (Black and White) (Edward Cronjager)
Outstanding Motion Picture (20th Century-Fox)

National Board of Review Awards
Top Ten Films
Best Acting (Monty Woolley)


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s