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IT HAPPENED HERE (1964)

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Discussion before

The question of how Great Britain would have dealt with a Nazi invasion during World War II intrigued teenaged filmmakers Kevin Brownlow (who has since achieved fame as a film historian) and Andrew Mollo so much that they spent eight years working to bring the story to the screen. Pauline Murray, an actual nurse who had only appeared in one film previously, stars as an Irish nurse trying to remain apolitical in the face of Nazi atrocities and the growing resistance. Shooting in black-and-white 16mm film and with mostly volunteer actors, Brownlow and Mollo created a documentary feel, despite the fact that they used no stock footage. They even enlisted a pair of veteran BBC radio announcers to voice re-created newsreel footage and radio transmissions. Impressed by the filmmakers’ mission, Stanley Kubrick donated unused film stock from the making of Dr. Strangelove (1964), and director Tony Richardson helped pay final production costs. Brownlow and Mollo’s film was a success at film festivals, but it also incited controversy because the cast included one-time members of the British Union of Fascists and former German soldiers from World War II. United Artists would only distribute the picture after the directors agreed to cut footage of a fascist justifying anti-Semitism and the final solution. (d. Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Mollo, 97m, 35mm)

*Kevin Brownlow will be presented with the Robert Osborne Award at this event.

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