Uncensored (film)

Last updated

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Anthony Asquith
Written by Rodney Ackland
Terence Rattigan
Wolfgang Wilhelm
Based on Uncensored by Oscar Millard
Produced by Edward Black
Maurice Ostrer
Starring Eric Portman
Phyllis Calvert
Griffith Jones
Cinematography Arthur Crabtree
Edited by R. E. Dearing
Music by Louis Levy
Hans May
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Release date
24 August 1942
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Uncensored is a 1942 British war drama film directed by Anthony Asquith starring Eric Portman, Phyllis Calvert and Griffith Jones. The film was produced at Gainsborough Pictures by Edward Black, with cinematography from Arthur Crabtree and screenplay by Rodney Ackland, Wolfgang Wilhelm and Terence Rattigan based on the 1937 novel of the same title by Oscar Millard. The film was shot at the company's Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd's Bush, with sets designed by the art director Alex Vetchinsky.


Uncensored is set in occupied Belgium and shares the propagandistic tone of many British films of its era. While its reception was mainly positive, it was criticised in some quarters for its unrealistic portrayal of the occupying German forces as bungling, incompetent and easily outwitted buffoons. [1]

On its original UK release Uncensored ran for 108 minutes; for overseas distribution however it was trimmed to 83 minutes and the cut version subsequently became more widely circulated.


Before the Nazi occupation of Belgium, Brussels nightclub owner André Delange (Portman) used to publish an anti-Nazi newspaper called La Libre Belgique (Free Belgium) which was distributed secretly. In the aftermath of the German occupation, his underground colleagues in the Belgian resistance suggest reviving the newspaper, to which Delange agrees. With the help of his chief assistant Julie Lanvin (Calvert) and a small band of helpers, La Libre Belgique once more begins to circulate. When the Germans find out of its existence, they offer a reward to anyone who is prepared to identify those responsible for its publication.

Delange's business partner Charles Neels (Peter Glenville), disgruntled with their business relationship and jealous of Delange's relationship with the attractive Julie, betrays the whereabouts of the newspaper's makeshift office. The premises are raided and those present in the building arrested, but Delange and Julie manage to avoid capture. The Germans announce to the populace that La Libre Belgique is no more and its perpetrators are in custody; however Delange and Julie succeed in printing and distributing another edition, making the Germans look foolish and leading them to assume that the information given to them by their informant was false. They release those arrested, who they now believe not to be the people they were looking for, and vow to continue searching for the real culprits. Meanwhile the group led by Delange comes together again, and their work continues.


Related Research Articles

Eric Portman English actor

Eric Harold Portman was an English stage and film actor. He is probably best remembered for his roles in several films for Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger during the 1940s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Belgian Resistance</span> Resistance movements opposed to the German occupation of Belgium during World War II

The Belgian Resistance collectively refers to the resistance movements opposed to the German occupation of Belgium during World War II. Within Belgium, resistance was fragmented between many separate organizations, divided by region and political stances. The resistance included both men and women from both Walloon and Flemish parts of the country. Aside from sabotage of military infrastructure in the country and assassinations of collaborators, these groups also published large numbers of underground newspapers, gathered intelligence and maintained various escape networks that helped Allied airmen trapped behind enemy lines escape from German-occupied Europe.

Alexandre Galopin Belgian businessman

Alexandre Galopin was a Belgian businessman notable for his role in German-occupied Belgium during World War II. Galopin was director of the Société Générale de Belgique, a major Belgian company, and chairman of the board of the motor and armaments company Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre (FN). At the head of a group of Belgian industrialists and financiers, he gave his name to the "Galopin Doctrine" which prescribed how Belgian industry should deal with the moral and economic choices imposed by the occupation. In February 1944, he was assassinated by Flemish collaborators from the DeVlag group.

Oscar Millard American screenwriter

Oscar Millard was an English writer who published two books set in Belgium before finding success in Hollywood as a screenwriter.

<i>La Libre Belgique</i>

La Libre Belgique, currently sold under the name La Libre, is a major daily newspaper in Belgium. Together with Le Soir, it is one of the country's major French language newspapers and is popular in Brussels and Wallonia. La Libre was founded in 1884 and has historically had a centre-right Christian Democratic political stance. The papers is particularly celebrated for its role as an underground newspaper during World War I and World War II when Belgium was occupied. Since 1999, the newspaper has become increasingly liberal but is still considered more conservative than Le Soir.

<i>Zone libre</i> Territory administered by Vichy France during World War II

The zone libre was a partition of the French metropolitan territory during World War II, established at the Second Armistice at Compiègne on 22 June 1940. It lay to the south of the demarcation line and was administered by the French government of Marshal Philippe Pétain based in Vichy, in a relatively unrestricted fashion. To the north lay the zone occupée in which the powers of Vichy France were severely limited.

<i>Front de lIndépendance</i> Belgian resistance group during World War II

The Independent Front was a left-wing faction of the Belgian Resistance in German-occupied Belgium in World War II. It was founded in March 1941 by Dr Albert Marteaux of the Communist Party of Belgium, Father André Roland, and Fernand Demany, another communist. The aim of the organisation was to unite Belgian resistance groups of all opinions and political leanings; nonetheless the only political party that was affiliated as such was the Communist Party. The FI operated a significant propaganda, social and paramilitary organization, in addition to its military and sabotage functions and operated in competition with the larger pro-government Secret Army.

Belgium in World War II Involvement of Belgium in World War II

Despite being neutral at the start of World War II, Belgium and its colonial possessions found themselves at war after the country was invaded by German forces on 10 May 1940. After 18 days of fighting in which Belgian forces were pushed back into a small pocket in the north-west of the country, the Belgian military surrendered to the Germans, beginning an occupation that would endure until 1944. The surrender of 28 May was ordered by King Leopold III without the consultation of his government and sparked a political crisis after the war. Despite the capitulation, many Belgians managed to escape to the United Kingdom where they formed a government and army-in-exile on the Allied side.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Royalist Movement</span>

The National Royalist Movement was a group within the Belgian Resistance in German-occupied Belgium during World War II. It was active chiefly in Brussels and Flanders and was the most politically right-wing of the major Belgian resistance groups.

<i>La Libre Belgique</i> (1940–1944)

During World War II, La Libre Belgique was one of the most notable underground newspapers published in German-occupied Belgium. This was partly a result of the success of a newspaper with the same title that had been produced in German-occupied Belgium during World War I. Though a number of editions appeared in 1940 and 1941, the most enduring La Libre Belgique published during the World War II was the so-called "Peter Pan" edition which ran to 85 issues with a circulation of 10,000 to 30,000 each.

Paul Victor Antoine Struye was a Belgian lawyer, politician, and journalist, notable for his writings during World War II. A native of Ghent, Struye served in the Belgian Army during World War I. He qualified as a lawyer in the years after the war and also worked as a journalist at the Catholic newspaper La Libre Belgique. A royalist and patriot, Struye was soon attracted to the Belgian resistance during World War II and was influential once La Libre Belgique became an underground newspaper. His diary of life under occupation and writings on public opinion are important historical sources on the period. After the war, Struye entered politics in the Christian Social Party as a senator and held the portfolio of Minister of Justice (1947-1948). He subsequently held the post of President of the Senate on two occasions.

The Holocaust in Belgium Systematic dispossession, deportation, and murder of Jews

The Holocaust in Belgium was the systematic dispossession, deportation, and murder of Jews and Roma in German-occupied Belgium during World War II. Out of about 66,000 Jews in the country in May 1940, around 28,000 were murdered during the Holocaust.

Committee of Secretaries-General Committee of senior civil servants and technocrats in German-occupied Belgium during World War II.

The Committee of Secretaries-General was a committee of senior civil servants and technocrats in German-occupied Belgium during World War II. It was formed shortly before the occupation to oversee the continued functioning of the civil service and state bureaucracy independently of the German military occupation administration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">German occupation of Belgium during World War II</span> Occupation of Belgium during World War II

The German occupation of Belgium during World War II began on 28 May 1940, when the Belgian army surrendered to German forces, and lasted until Belgium's liberation by the Western Allies between September 1944 and February 1945. It was the second time in less than thirty years that Germany had occupied Belgium.

Strike of the 100,000

The Strike of the 100,000 was an 8-day strike in German-occupied Belgium which took place from 10–18 May 1941. It was led by Julien Lahaut, head of the Belgian Communist Party, even though the Nazi—Soviet Pact was still in force. The object of the strike was to demand a wage increase though it was also an act of passive resistance to the German occupation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">German occupation of Belgium during World War I</span> 1914—1918 military occupation

The German occupation of Belgium of World War I was a military occupation of Belgium by the forces of the German Empire between 1914 and 1918. Beginning in August 1914 with the invasion of neutral Belgium, the country was almost completely overrun by German troops before the winter of the same year as the Allied forces withdrew westwards. The Belgian government went into exile, while King Albert I and the Belgian Army continued to fight on a section of the Western Front. Under the German military, Belgium was divided into three separate administrative zones. The majority of the country fell within the General Government, a formal occupation administration ruled by a German general, while the others, closer to the front line, came under more repressive direct military rule.

Underground media in German-occupied Europe

Various kinds of clandestine media emerged under German occupation during World War II. By 1942, Nazi Germany occupied much of continental Europe. The widespread German occupation saw the fall of public media systems in France, Belgium, Poland, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Northern Greece, and the Netherlands. All press systems were put under the ultimate control of Joseph Goebbels, the German Minister of Propaganda.

Underground media in German-occupied France French history of the Second World War

The clandestine press of the French Resistance was collectively responsible for printing flyers, broadsheets, newspapers, and even books in secret in France during the German occupation of France in the Second World War. The secret press was used to disseminate the ideas of the French Resistance in cooperation with the Free French, and played an important role in the liberation of France and in the history of French journalism, particularly during the 1944 Freedom of the Press Ordinances.

Roundup (police action) Mass arrest targeting a group

A roundup is a police operation of interpellation and arrest of people taken at random from a public place, or targeting a particular population by ethnicity, appearance, or other perceived membership in a targeted group. To ensure operational success, organizers rely on the element of surprise in order to reduce the risk of evasion as much as possible. When the operation involves large numbers of individuals not targeted for any perceived group membership, it may be called a mass arrest.

<i>Uncensored</i> (novel) 1937 novel

Uncensored is a 1937 novel by British writer Oscar Millard. It takes place during the German occupation of Belgium in the First World War. It was inspired by the real-life underground newspaper La Libre Belgique run by the country's resistance movement.


  1. "Uncensored - Anthony Asquith's new picture". The Glasgow Herald. 24 July 1942. Retrieved 4 August 2010.