Samuel Goldwyn as the producer and Lillian Hellman, the writer, team to tell of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet. As entertainment, however, there’s too much running time consumed before the film actually gets into its story and, in parts, it is seemingly a too-obviously contrived narrative detailing the virtues of the Soviet regime.
Setting the background for the actual climax is a long and sometimes tedious one. The early parts of the film are almost always colorful in depicting the simple life of the villagers around whom this story revolves, but it’s a question of too premeditatedly setting, a stage of a simple, peace-loving people who, through the bestiality of the enemy, are driven to an heroic defense that must, in time, become legendary. For this is the story of the Soviet people as seen through the eyes of a small village.
Hellman’s story, when she finally gets around to it, is a parallel one, dealing with a picnic group that’s suddenly called on to rush arms through the German lines to their guerrilla comrades when the sudden invasion catches them unawares while on a walking trip. It is an exciting tale from here on in.
1943: Nominations: Best Original Screenplay, B&W Cinematography, B&W Art Direction, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture, Sound, Special Effects