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loosely based on the titular work, but set in the time of its filming--- the immediacy of the war is palpable.
An American sergeant (a wonderful amateur who actually was an American sergeant) is visiting a town close to Canterbury when a crime occurs against a young woman he has just met. He soon learns that this is but one in a series of six similar attacks.
That sounds dry, but the film is anything but: it shows small town English life, how children coped with the war (a brilliant scene recalls quite vividly, "Lord of the Flies"), and the impact of the war on those at home--- and much more!
The female lead is brilliant, a very young Sheila Sim (soon to marry Richard Attenborough--- and remain so married until her death, almost seventy years later) who is so natural you'd expect to meet her in any small English town.
Pressburger and Powell made many exceptional films, but this one was never excelled. It is a film within a film, done with so much cleverness you don't realize it until the very end (I won't spoil it).
It was excellent. Also, to just look at it and witness the ending of British rural life. Rural became near and that changed it dramatically.
Saw it about 15 years ago. Just about anything Powell and Press burger did in the 40s was great!
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