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15 top war movies: 'One Against the Wind'

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"One Against the Wind" (1991)

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Countess Mary Lindell was a real life freedom fighter in France during World War II. However, instead of directly joining a resistance movement against the Nazis, the Countess helped hundreds of Allied POWs escape back to the warfront and to safety. Her courage and determination are portrayed brilliantly in One Against the Wind, a TV movie by Hallmark that deserves more recognition than it has received. It’s a startling war film and an untold glance at the situation in France under Nazi occupation. Judy Davis firmly takes on the role of Lindell with an amazing presence of mind, intelligence, and strength. Sam Neill accompanies her as the British soldier whom she falls in love with during her mission.

Just as it is wise to note Kate Beckinsale’s brief appearance in the film as Lindell’s daughter, it is also interesting and noticeable that Davis and Neill renew their onscreen chemistry that ignited in My Brilliant Career, a film they also starred together in as the leads and ambition-crossed lovers. The supporting cast contributes greatly to the depth of One Against the Wind, everything clicking together. There’s an acute portrayal of the brutality of the Nazi regime throughout Europe, every scene calculating this epitome of terror and danger in a raw, unerring manner. The Nazis’ control over every living person who crossed their path and their unscrupulous employment of cruel “means to an end”—torture—are masterly described in this serious drama with a dry sense of humor. The acting is superb, the story is worthy of applause, and the ending is unexpected. One Against the Wind centers on the life of one woman who dared to defy the enemy through espionage and smuggling, who saved lives despite the risks to her own. However, it also honors the memory of all who strived to defeat the consequences of World War II.

One Against the Wind is available on DVD wherever movies are sold in Fresno and online; it also can be rented for free from local libraries.

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