03 May 2015

What Do Marie Lohr and Spike Milligan Have In Common? Another Note about Went the Day Well

What strikes me about this and a lot of these intelligent, thoughtful British war films is the cool-headed determination that they display. Everyone keeps their head. The same is true for Vacation From Marriage and Millions Like Us, just to name two. There's a deep anger at the Blitz, in particular; I don't know if anyone reading this is familiar with Spike Milligan's wartime memoir ("Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall") but he says that seeing his parents going short of food and having to board up their shattered front windows was what made the war real to him, as a rather feckless 20-year-old draftee. But it made him all the more determined to do whatever he was able to do to stop it.
That's what Spike and the overwhelmingly ladylike Marie Lohr had in common; in Went the Day Well, seeing the depredations against her villagers, and the young evacuees, are what make her angry -- and willing to stop the perpetrators by whatever means necessary.