Heart Of A Nation, The; Untel Pere Et Fils

2731. THE HEART OF A NATION (Untel Pere Et Fils) (1940-France). With RAIMU, MICHELE MORGAN, LOUIS JOUVET. Introduced by CHARLES BOYER. Directed by JULIEN DUVIVIER This poignant and patriotic epic drama spans seventy years in the history of one nation and one family. That nation is France. The patriarch of that family is Pierre Froment, a Montmartre peasant who can neither read nor write, but whose offspring grow up to become teachers and doctors and aviation pioneers, All are linked by tragedies and triumphs, weddings and births and deaths. Characters grow to adulthood. They fall in love and marry and have children of their own. The generations of Froments also are freedom-loving men and women who wish only to live out their lives in peace. However, never too far away hang the ominous clouds of war. France is forced to go to war against Germany no less than three times. Twice (in 1871 as the story begins and in 1940 as it ends) German troops enter Paris to file beneath the Arc de Triomphe and goose-step along the Champs Elysee. The story charts the lives and fates of Bernard, Felix and Estelle, Pierre’s three children, along with the subsequent generations who all go on to live out their destinies. In its best moments, the plot contrasts the naive excitement of young boys who hear cannons roar in the distance to the harsh reality of war, and how amid the hoopla of victory, parents silently mourn the death of a beloved child. Especially moving, is the manner in which Estelle accepts the three kisses she receives in her lifetime. The result is a heartfelt and richly human drama you won’t soon forget. The film was ordered destroyed by the Nazis, but smuggled to Vichy France where it was completed in 1943. Dubbed in English. 82 minutes. Drama