|The Foreman Went to France|
|Directed by||Charles Frend|
|Screenplay by|| Leslie Arliss |
|Story by||J. B. Priestley|
|Produced by||Michael Balcon|
|Starring|| Clifford Evans |
|Edited by||Robert Hamer|
|Music by||William Walton|
|Distributed by||United Artists Ltd (UK)|
The Foreman Went to France (released in the USA as Somewhere in France) is a 1942 British Second World War war film starring Clifford Evans, Tommy Trinder, Constance Cummings and Gordon Jackson. It was based on the real-life wartime exploits of Welsh munitions worker Melbourne Johns, who rescued machinery used to make guns for Spitfires and Hurricanes. It was an Ealing Studios film made in 1941 with the support of the War Office and the Free French Forces. All of the 'heroes' are portrayed as ordinary people caught up in the war.
In 1940, Welsh armaments factory foreman Fred Carrick goes to France on his own initiative to retrieve three large pieces of machinery for making cannon for Spitfires before the German army arrives. In Bivary, he requests the aid of two soldiers and, more importantly, use of their army lorry. He also gets the help of the company secretary in France, an American woman who needs to go north to find her sister who is a nurse.
While in France, Carrick learns about the rôle of the fifth column, and that even those in positions of authority such as the town mayor cannot always be trusted. During the race to the coast with the machines, he encounters a huge number of refugees fleeing the advancing Nazis and many more obstacles to hinder his progress. They take half-a-dozen orphaned children on their journey, entertaining the children with humorous songs.
Filmed during the war, location shooting for the scenes set in France was done in Cornwall, Kent, and Berkshire.
Dr. Keith M. Johnston, lecturer in Film & Television Studies at the University of East Anglia, described it as "a strange little propaganda piece, a flashback-structured film that dramatises the 'true' story of Melbourne Johns ... Overall, this is a nicely done little film, but it survives largely because of a committed cast and some strong narrative elements."
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