The Foreman Went to France

The Foreman Went to France

Original UK quad format poster
Directed by Charles Frend
Produced by Michael Balcon
Screenplay by Leslie Arliss
John Dighton
Angus MacPhail
Story by J. B. Priestley
Starring Clifford Evans
Tommy Trinder
Constance Cummings
Gordon Jackson
Music by William Walton
Cinematography Wilkie Cooper
Edited by Robert Hamer
Distributed by United Artists Ltd (UK)[1]
Release dates
  • 22 June 1942 (1942-06-22) (UK)
Running time
87 minutes [1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Foreman Went to France (released in the USA as Somewhere in France [2]) 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.[3] It was an Ealing film made in 1941 with the support of the War Office and the Free French Forces. The script was by J.B.Priestley and reflects both optimism about an eventual victory and the sense that the post war world would have to be different from that of the 1930s. All of the 'heroes' are portrayed as ordinary people caught up in the war.[4] The score was written by William Walton.


Welsh factory foreman Fred Carrick (Clifford Evans) goes to France on his own initiative to retrieve several pieces of valuable machinery ahead of the German invasion. Along the way, he is helped by two soldiers (Tommy Trinder, Gordon Jackson) and an American woman (Constance Cummings). To get to France, Fred has to get round the opposition of his firm's bosses and British civil servants. While in France, he has to learn about the rôle of the fifth column. His gradual realisation of how authority can trick him has been argued to be an allegory of Britain learning not to be too trusting; but also, through the rôle of Anne Stafford, the American woman, an anticipation of an eventual alliance with the United States.[5] During the race to the coast with the machines, the film evokes the huge scale of the flood of refugees that fled the advancing Nazis in France in 1940.



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