Thursday, July 7, 2016

They Were Not Divided


Edward Underdown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Edward Underdown
BornCharles Edward Underdown
3 December 1908
Died15 December 1989 (aged 81)
Hampshire, England, UK
OccupationActor, jockey
Years active1932–1979
Spouse(s)Hon. Rosemary Sybella Violet Grimston
Charles Edward Underdown (3 December 1908 – 15 December 1989) was an English theatre, cinema and television actor. He was born in London and educated at Eton College in Berkshire.
Early theatre credits include: Words and MusicNymph ErrantStop Press andStreamline.[1]
Both Wings of the Morning and The Rainbow Jacket were set in his beloved racing world, the former being set on Epsom DownsWings of the Morning, starring Henry Fonda, was Britain's first Technicolor film.
Edward Underdown was also a gentleman jockey and rode with great aplomb both on the flat and over sticks (see references to his riding career in John Hislop's books).
In 1950 he was voted by British exhibitors as the most promising male newcomer in the country.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Edward Underdown was born on 3 December 1908 in London.
Underdown was the son of Harry Charles Baillie Underdown and Rachel Elizabeth Orr. He married Hon. Rosemary Sybella Violet Grimston, daughter of Robert Grimston, 1st Baron Grimston of Westbury and Sybil Rose Neumann, on 10 February 1953. Charles Underdown and Rosemary Grimston are sixth cousins through their common grandparents Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon and Lady Charlotte Capell.[3]
He died on 15 December 1989 in Hampshire aged 81.

Theatre appearances[edit]


Television appearances[edit]

Love of horses[edit]

Edward Underdown's father owned a Norfolk estate in the Stanford Battle area. It was here that Edward learnt and developed his riding.
Before his career as an actor Edward was a gentleman jockey and rode with great aplomb both on the flat and over sticks (see references to his riding career in John Hislop's books).
The Norfolk estate is mentioned in Bill Pertwee's book about the making of Dad's Army. One of the Dad's Army episodes was by co-incidence filmed at the estate. By this time the estate was owned by the War Office and nothing was left except for the verandah and stables. As soon as John Le Mesurier arrived he realised it was familiar to him from weekend parties Edward's father had invited him to in the 1930s. So it was that Edward found himself working in a television series that featured part of his old home.[10]
The films Wings of the Morning and The Rainbow Jacket were set in his beloved racing world, the former being set onEpsom Downs.
Finally, after his acting career he worked as a steward at Newbury Racecourse. This was described by Bill Pertwee as "fitting for a man who not only loved horses but was also an expert rider." (ibit, page 86).

Military Service[edit]

On wanting to sign-up, Edward Underdown's first approach was to the Wiltshire Yeomanry. He reputedly appeared at the depot with his friend, Sandy Carlos Clarke, a friend who had recently returned from Canada working as a ranch hand. When asked by the recruiting Sergeant to state their professions, Underdown replied, "film star" and Carlos Clarke answered, "cowboy" and thinking this was a joke, the sergeant stated that their services were not required. Underdown did subsequently join the Wiltshire Yeomanry whilst Clarke found a post with another Yeomanry regiment.[11]
Underdown went on to have a distinguished second world war record as an officer in the Wiltshire Yeomanry serving in the 8th Army in Africa [12]
After the war Edward resumed his acting career but remained in the Territorial Army. He remained in the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers until is reached the age limit. He retired as Captain on 7 November 1959 and retained the rank of Honorary Major.[13]12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Unknown Gem. Must see for WWII buffs

Author: pete36 from Belgium
21 August 2010
The BBC recently aired this on a lazy Monday afternoon in mid-August when probably not many were watching. But as this was made by Terence Young (future director of some prolific Bondmovies) I happened to tape it.

What a great surprise this proves to be. Probably about the sole movie account of a (chiefly) British tank battalion journey into France and Belgium after D-Day.

I will admit it's all very "stiff British upperlip" (jolly good show boys and so on)and especially the romance segments have dated badly, but there is a true feel of authenticity, not only that it's made about 4 years after WWII, but the director gives a realistic and almost documentary-like style to the battle scenes.

It all moves along at a brisk pace, and being a bit of WWII buff, it gave me a very rare insight and almost 'behind the scenes' view of a tankbatallion in action in 1944.

I'll doubt if it is available on DVD so you will maybe have to wait till the BBC airs it again, in 10 years or so !

Despite the stiff upper lips, a decent portrayal of the war in Europe

Author: robinakaaly from United Kingdom
8 September 2011
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A middle class married Brit and an American working in London join the Welsh Guards armoured regiment at Caterham in 1940. We follow them through basic training, after which they are both commissioned. For the next few years nothing happens, except their tanks keep having to be repainted depending on where they are not going. Eventually they are landed in Normandy after D-Day, and then fight their way through to the Ardennes, where they are both killed. Along the way we meet a variety of characters, officers and men, to show the British Army at its best. Along the way also, the Brit gets leave to see his wife, and the American meets a nurse skinny dipping in a lake behind his friend's house. Just after Arnhem the two hitch a lift back to Northolt for 48 hours leave, during which time the American marries and impregnates the Englishwoman. What came over well in the film was the waiting of war, all the non-fighting activities which went on (including the liberation of German stores and supplies, such as champagne), the long drives through Europe, punctuated by hordes of delirious liberated French and Belgians, occasional sharp and terrifying battle moments, and the loss of friends though enemy action and careless accident. There was a great deal of actual wartime footage, interspersed with staged sequences using real wartime equipment (the tank rolling over was quite spectacular). Biggest goof was when the two officers come out of Northolt and hitch a lift to London in the wrong direction.

The Title Says It All.

Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA
6 March 2011
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Two men join the Welsh Guards early in the war, one a married Englishman (Underdown), the other an American (Clanton). The Guards are a varied lot -- Irish, Welsh, and other "colonials" as well as the British. It leads to a quietly amusing scene. The drill instructor demands that all the English in the ranks take two steps forward and all the colonials take two steps backward. The American is left standing alone between the two. When he explains, the drill sergeant says the Army is divided into two parts, English and non-English, so Clanton steps back and joins the Canadians and the rest. That's about as funny as it gets.

The first half of the film belongs to the "training camp" genre. "Button up that top button!" "SAH!" Underdown gets to spend time with his wife and both of them become close friends of Clanton, who falls in love with a British beauty he finds swimming in "the Witch's Pool." There's nothing much we haven't seen before.

The second half has the two men in tanks, landing at Normandy and rushing through what appears to be every battle of any significance in the European theater. There are a few combat scenes. One is unique. A British tank is hit (whether by mine or German shell we never know), skids off the road, and rolls onto its side.

But the combat is hurried and conveyed by montage -- tanks wheels spin, airplanes roar overhead, parachutists drop from the sky, explosions take place, men stop for tea and make easy jokes about one another. It seems to have been put together for people who have already been there or who remember the meaning of place names like Arnhem, Caen, the Ardennes, and Nijmegen. If you don't know, it's going to seem as if the Welsh Guards land their tanks and race through Europe, losing an occasional vehicle.

If you keep your eyes and ears open, you may learn why Montgomery was so slow taking Caen, while Patton zoomed South and around into mid-France. At the end, Clanton lies wounded, tended by Underdown, and both friends are destroyed by a German 88. The Irishman who buries them plants an American flag one on grave and an English flag on the other, but he can't remember which grave is which, so he leaves them at random. The wind whips the two tiny flags until they dip towards one another and finally touch. It's an excessively pathetic ending but I found it moving nevertheless.

There's nothing particularly innovative about the movie. It's mostly stuff we've seen before. And it seems more dated than most British war movies of the period, which tended to be quite good. The message is in boldface: "We Must All Pull Together," English and Americans, Irish, Welsh, and so forth. But by 1950 the war had been over for several years, so what was the point? An apologia for the American servicemen who were "overpaid, oversexed, and over here"? But they were mostly gone when this movie was made. That's what I mean by the word "dated." I found the courtship of the American and his British swimming mate kind of interesting. During the war, American men are supposed to have thought that British girls were "fast"; ie., easy. At the same time, British girls considered American men "fast"; ie., too eager to become engaged and married. Margaret Mead, the anthropologist who was there at the time, concluded that the misunderstanding was due to differences in courtship patterns. For Americans, kissing came early in the process. For Brits, it was a much later step, signaling serious commitment, just prior to marriage. Thus, culture clash according to the Venerable Mead.

As I say, I found the last scene to be poignant, though I knew I was being recklessly manipulated. Well, after all, we've just spent 92 minutes with two polite fellows who have never harbored a harsh thought towards each other or anyone else.

Dated British WW2 film, with heavy-handed messages and cameoing stars

Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
11 June 2016
THEY WERE NOT DIVIDED is a near-forgotten British WW2 movie, directed by none other than Terence Young, the man who would later helm DR NO and FROM Russia WITH LOVE amongst other well-remembered movies. By comparison, this is the kind of film that few people bother watching and even fewer remember these days. It doesn't help that the script is quite dry, the narrative fairly stodgy, and there's a distinct lack of big-name actors to give audiences a reason to watch. Instead, THEY WERE NOT DIVIDED goes for a low key, almost documentary-style approach as it follows new recruits as they join a Welsh Guards battalion, train, and eventually journey to France to see action in their tanks.

This kind of template is familiar from the modern-day likes of BAND OF BROTHERS but the execution is only so-so here. There's a lot of talk and back-and-forth dialogue, but when it comes to the action, the big set-pieces that everybody remembers are hurried through. Stock footage is also used quite liberally. I didn't mind the unknown lead actors, although the heavy-handed messages smack of propaganda (basically, America and Britain should work together as one) which is bizarre given that the war had been over for four years when this was shot.

Most of the fun comes from spotting future actors in support. Michael Brennan (LUST FOR A VAMPIRE) is particularly good fun as the enthusiastic Welsh soldier, and there's a cameo from real-life RSM Brittain, who adds some humour. Christopher Lee only has a couple of lines but is in the background in almost every scene in the film, while future Q Desmond Llewellyn plays a tank driver.7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The Old Army Game

Author: writers_reign
17 August 2010
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was Terence Young's fourth outing behind the camera and perhaps wisely he opted to play it safe opting for a subject - the second world war - that was still providing material some five years after it ended and illustrating it via the usual tried-and-true clichés. After a somewhat stodgy, pedestrian opening Young allows his two protagonists, Edward Underdown and Ralph Campan, to steadily forge the friendship that is the core of the film. In true cliché style they met on their first day of basic training, graduated as officers together and served in the same regiment. We follow them in their day jobs through France post D-Day and in their other lives - Underdown happily married to Helen Cherry and Campan, a late developer, finding a wife of his own about the eighth reel. There was really only one way to end it and Young obliges by killing them both off in the last reel and having them buried in twin graves by a third man, a sergeant, who had also met them on the first day of basic training. Made in 1950 it's a tad hard to swallow in 2010.
I’m usually quite lucky in my choices of older British movies. Some I’ve watched in the past make my extended best of list. However, They Were Not Divided will not be on that list. It’s not a bad movie but it felt at times as if the director had intended to make a war movie – based on true events (!) – which is suitable for the whole family. The result is a bit too cute for my taste.
At the core of the movie is the friendship between a British, an American and an Irish soldier. Especially the Englishman Philip Hamilton and the American David Morgan are very close. After having undergone intense training which we are shown in a long boot camp sequence, which reminded me a bit of Full Metal Jacket, the three men are promoted and assigned to serve in the tank company of the Welsh Guards.  Two thirds of the film are taken up by the boot camp and further tank training episodes, occasionally interrupted by leaves which they spend at Philip’s home. During one of those leaves, David meets an English girl and falls in love with her.
There is a lot of emphasis on the relationships in the movie. The marriage between Philip and his wife is explored as well as the relationship between David and his future fiancée.
The last part of the film, could finally be called the real war movie part. The three main characters land at Normandy weeks after D-Day as part of the Welsh Guard’s Armoured Division. They quickly see combat and have to cope with fighting a war in another country, far from their wives and girl friends. The film then picks up speed and we see many of the crucial moments of WWII: Operation Market Garden, The Battle of the Bulge. We see how the Welsh Guards join American paratroopers at the Grave bridge before moving to Nijmegen during Operation Market Garden. The film ends with the Ardennes Offensive and the Guards’ unknown operations around the east side of the river Meuse. I suppose it isn’t spoiling the movie too much if I mention that not everyone survives.
I think They Were Not Divided isn’t exactly a must see but I’ve seen far worse. It’s an ok movie, it just doesn’t really have anything that stands out with the exception of some quite humorous scenes during the boot camp sequence. It’s safe to say that even the very squeamish can watch this. If you’re looking for a WWII film to watch with the whole family, this could be your choice.

Children in War Movies: A List

The Drum (GB, 1938): India
Mrs Miniver (US 1942): WWII, British Homefront
Since You Went Away (US, 1944): WWII, American Homefront (here is my review)
Roma, Città Aperta aka Rome, Open City (Italy, 1945): WWII, Italy
Kim (US, 1950): India
Forbidden Games aka Jeux interdits (1952, France): WWII, France
The Bridge aka Die Brücke (1959, Germany): WWII, Germany
Two Women aka La ciociara (1960, Italy/France): WWII, Italy
Ivan’s Childhood aka Ivanovo detstvo (1962, Soviet Union): WWII, Russia
Hornet´s Nest (1970, USA): WWII, Italy
Lacombe Lucien (1974, France): WWII, France
The Tin Drum aka Die Blechtrommel (Germany, 1979): WWII, Germany
Hope and Glory (1987, UK): WWII, Blitz  (Here is my review)
Empire of the Sun (1987, USA) : Chinese-Japanese War WWII
Au-revoir les enfants aka Goodbye, Children (1987, France/Germany): WWII, Holocaust,France
Grave of the Fireflies aka Hotaru no haka (1988, Japan): WWII, Japan. Anime. (See my post)
Europa, Europa aka Hitlerjunge Salomon (1990 Germany/France/Poland): WWII, Germany (See my review)
Come and See aka Idi i smotri(1985, Soviet Union): WWII, Byelorussia
The Ogre aka Der Unhold (1996, France/Germany/UK): WWII, Nazi Germany
Welcome to Sarajevo (1997, USA) : Bosnia
Savior (1998, USA ): Bosnia
Innocent Voices aka Voces inocentes (2004, Mexico/USA/PueSilenmy post on Silent Night)t Night (2002, USA): WWII, Germany (serto Rico): El Salvador (see my post on Innocent Voices)
Before the Fall aka Napola (2004, Germany): WWII, Germany (see my review of NaPola)
Pan´s Labyrinth aka El laberinto del fauno (2006, Spain): WWII Franco´s Spain
Miracle at St. Anna (2008, US): WWII, Italy (here is my review)
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008, UK/USA): WWII, Holocaust (see my review)
Escape from Huang Shi aka The Children of Huang Shi (2008, Australia, China, Germany, USA): Japanese occupation of China
Winter in Wartime aka Oorlogswinter (2008, Netherlans, Belgium): WWII, occupied Hollad in Winter, 1945 (here is the link to my post)
The Fortress of War aka Brestskaya krepost (2010, Russia): WWII, Russia 1941. Germans attack the Brest Fortress (here is the link to my post).
The Round-Up – La Rafle (2010, FR/GE/HU): WWII, Paris, the round-up of 13000 Jews in the Vel d’Hiv (here is my review)
This list is being updated regularly.