Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s It Happened Here (1964)

It Happened Here (1964)

A fascinating Second World War drama that examines what might have happened if the Germans had won the Battle of Britain and Hitler had successfully invaded the UK.

German troop transports rattle past thatched cottages, riots explode on fascist-controlled London streets, and reels of Nazi propaganda unspool with reassuring tones of Pathe News.

A nurse allows herself to be persuaded to join a Fascist organisation in order to work. She is a weary country widow who has seen her village neighbours mowed down by the Nazis in retaliation for a wild audacity by an isolated member of the resistance. She is a helpless bystander who has been evacuated to London to get her away from an area of potential resistance, and she has to do something to get a job.

What she does is enrol as a nurse in the English Volunteer Legion, which is a paramilitary organisation that is compelled to undergo and endure all the heel-clicking, arm saluting rituals of the Nazi overlords, listen to their brainwashing lectures, attend their fiery funerals and become, as a consequence of this routine, a sodden, acquiescent Nazi too.

This leads to conflicts with old friends, and a painful confrontation with the darker side of the new social order.

Begun by teenagers Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo in 1956 as a hobby (most of the cast were volunteers), It Happened Here finally opened in 1966 at a West End cinema. Stanley Kubrick loved the film and donated film stock from Dr Strangelobe to help Brownlow and Mollo finish it.

There are major flaws, naturally, mainly in the performances and the often naive writing, but forgive them. Instead, marvel at the provocative sight of the Third Reich goose-stepping down Whitehall and chill to the fascist overthrow of Little England.


Pauline Murray
Dr Richard Fletcher
Sebastian Shaw
Helen Fletcher
Fiona Leland
Honor Hutton
Honor Fehrson
Immediate Action (IA) Commandant
Percy Binns
IA Political Leader
Frank Bennett
IA Group Leader
Bill Thomas
IA Medical Officer
Reginald Marsh
Rex Collett
IA Commandant
Nicolette Bernard
IA Group Leader Moorfield
Nicholas Moore

Kevin Brownlow
Andrew Mollo