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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars movie based on John Steinbeck book
This movie is a war classic. I didn't know Steinbeck was a war correspondent at the height of the war. I thought he was just an amazing novelist. He had a real sense of honor and pride for the nation and it showed in the way he treated this subject. " The Moon Is Down" was originally seen in the 40's but this is the first time it has ever been released on DVD. I...
Published 18 months ago by Dargrace

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2.0 out of 5 stars boring. To me it wasn't as good as The ...
It was very, very, boring. To me it wasn't as good as The Edge of Darkness and I don't think it could hold a candle to it.
Published 3 months ago by BigRoge


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars movie based on John Steinbeck book, June 6, 2013
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This review is from: The Moon Is Down (DVD)
This movie is a war classic. I didn't know Steinbeck was a war correspondent at the height of the war. I thought he was just an amazing novelist. He had a real sense of honor and pride for the nation and it showed in the way he treated this subject. " The Moon Is Down" was originally seen in the 40's but this is the first time it has ever been released on DVD. I highly recommend this to any war film buff who hasn't had the opportunity to see this in its' original state. It, and the Steinbeck book, were used for propaganda against the Nazi regime. The story line is truly fascinating and one that will stay with you, challenge your own sense of moral and ethic conscience for a long time. I don't dare say more for fear of giving it all away. I recommend this to educators, film makers and war buffs. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be watching this movie again and again as a reminder to myself to take a stand against wrong done to others in time of strife.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly acted, Restrained and Compelling WW11 Resistance Melodrama :, February 3, 2014
This review is from: The Moon Is Down (DVD)
World War 11 films that depict "Patriots and Quisling's" - the stoic, furtive, passive and violent civilian resistance of conquered nations to Nazi/Japanese occupation were extremely popular with wartime audiences during WW 11. "Joan of Paris" {1941},"This Land is Our Land"{1942}, "Hangmen also Die" {1942}, "North Star" {1943},"Edge of Darkness" {1943}, "China" {1943}, "Dragon Seed" {1944}, "The Seventh Cross" {1944}, "To Have and to Have Not" {1944}, "The Cross of the Lorraine" {1944} and "Hotel Berlin" {1945} are all outstanding examples of well crafted movies of this type.

Along with "Hangmen Also Die", and "The Seventh Cross" - "The Moon is Down" is the best representive of this film genre because it eschews melodrama and trys to get inside the occuppiers and conquered civilians thoughts, emotions and their "guts". How the conquerors and conquered respond to their respective situations, being locked together in a possible "death embrace" and how both sides survive under these circumstances is the major theme of this movie .

The story line is simple - In 1940, a Nazi Invasion force with clockwork efficiency and total ruthlessness invades and conquerors a remote Norwegian town whose main industry is a large iron ore mine that the Germans wish to exploit to the utmost. The townspeople are at first stunned, cowed and cannot comprehend their situation. The Germans having taken the town with no resistance and now expect that everything will go smoothly, the towns population will work hard, mine the iron ore and acquiese to anything that the Nazi's demand.

The situation gradually almost impercepably alters as the Germans gradually using an uneven "heavy handiness" thru force and confiscation push to extract extra iron ore thru longer miner work shifts and tie the miners famillies rations thru the coherced production. The townspeople respond with contempt and refuse to talk or socialize with their conquerors. The British parachute explosives into the area for sabotage, the Germans are aware that these materials can make a resistance esculate. Furtively at first but with gradually with more frequency and boldness - power lines are cut, rail lines blown up, mine equiptment sabotaged, building are torched and individual Germans are killed. AND of course the the Germans will / must take punative action against the the towns leaders because they are guilty of not willing to be co-opted by their German occupyers to tell their fellow citizens not to resist and they become hostages possibly marked for death.

Their are no major stars in this film but there are two [2] excellent performances - Sir Cedric Hardwicke as the patient and realistic German Commander who predicts { to his arrogant subordinates and the local "Quisling"} that the Norwegian populace will not stay cowed and that "Hitting them over the Head" would only increase their defiance/ resistance - he's seen it all before {during the WW 1 occupation of Belguim} and he knows what to expect!! But driven by events he must follow the Nazi script of "Brute force" to try to blugeon the Norweigians into submission. Henry Travers {Clarence the Angel in " It's a Wonderfull Life"} is surprisingly believeable and touching as the mayor of the town who gentlely but firmly refuses to allow himself to be co-opted and used by the Germans to assist them pacifying the townspeople and advising his friends and neighbors from resistance/sabotage if that is their choice.

They are ably supported by veteran character actor and actress Lee J.Cobb {A very early role} and Margaret Wycherly. Doris Bowdon as a widow and and Peter van Eck as a lonely German officer are little known character actors today but they play a scene so beautifully and realistically that I honestly didn't know how it was going to play out but the payoff was terrfic.

It is interesting to compare this movie with Warner Brothers {WB} Norweigan Resistance film "Edge of Darkness" also released in 1943 - a big budget production starring Errol Flynn, Ann Sheridian, Walter Huston, Ruth Gordon, Judith Anderson and Nancy Coleman. It's best performance is by Helmut Dantine in a scene chewiing over the top performance with eyes blazing as a frustrated and brutal Nazi commander - he is the "polar opposite" compared to Sir Cedric Hardwicke's steely, reserved and thoughtfull German commander. Flynn and Sheridan mostly pose in their starring roles and everything in their movie is larger than life - the noble speeches, betrayals, a thundering score by Franz Waxman, an off screen rape of Ann Sheridan and a bloody, bloody climax !!

As entertaining as "Edge of Darkness" is {and I like it a lot} - "The Moon is Down" is far better written, better acted and more true rendering of how a civilian population can come to find the courage and resolve to gradually build into a real civilian resistance against their occupyers. I was impressed with the film's sober and thoughtfull screenplay and the excellent performances by it's mostly unknown ensemble cast and I give it a 5 star rating.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck, August 23, 2013
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This review is from: The Moon Is Down (DVD)
I am very happy with this.
This is a movie based in Steinbeck's novel and i've been looking for it for some time.
So thank you very much.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect Adaptation!, February 15, 2014
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This review is from: The Moon Is Down (DVD)
I have never been so pleased with a movie adaptation of a novel. Any omissions were understandable in terms of time constraints. Henry Travers was perfectly cast as the mayor. Cedric Hardwicke's accent threw me a bit initially, but his portrayal overcame this minor criticism. Dorris Bowdon's performance as Mollie Morden deserved an Academy Award. The scene with the mayor, Colonel Lanser, and the Doctor reciting from Plato was perfectly done. Two details that could have been easily included but were not: Joseph straightening the chairs in the drawing room the Nazi's had moved and Mollie asking for "two sausages". Other than these minor details, a nearly perfect adaptation. One wonders why this took so long to long to make it to DVD?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful story, February 12, 2014
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This review is from: The Moon Is Down (DVD)
Since I married a Norwegian,. and her family went through the occupation, -- Steinbeck gives the viewer an insight into what life must have been like living under the Nazis. A salute to the courage of the Norwegian people and all those throughout Europe that resisted the tyranny of Hitler and his gang. Steinbeck did an amazing job writing this, and the film makers also did an A-1 job!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Norway info, December 28, 2013
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This review is from: The Moon Is Down (DVD)
After returning from a Norway trip, this movie portrayed some WWII stories that we heard on the trip. Sad story though.
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2.0 out of 5 stars boring. To me it wasn't as good as The ..., September 2, 2014
This review is from: The Moon Is Down (DVD)
It was very, very, boring. To me it wasn't as good as The Edge of Darkness and I don't think it could hold a candle to it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies, even though it was made during the ..., December 20, 2014
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Ex Libris GM (Heart of Dixie USA) - See all my reviews
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One of my favorite movies, even though it was made during the WWII years as an obvious propaganda and anti-Nazi film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 25, 2014
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very pleased.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very dated, March 3, 2014
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This review is from: The Moon Is Down (DVD)
But a good movie nonetheless. I enjoyed the book (sponsored by OSS in fact) and so wanted to see the movie. I recommend the movie if you're a fan of the book.
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The Moon Is Down
The Moon Is Down by Irving Pichel (DVD - 2013)
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