The Land Girls

Director: David Leland
Screenwriters: David Leland

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


The Land Girls is David Leland’s beautiful valentine to the women of World War II who took to the fields when all the farmhands were off fighting for their country. As part of a British government program, these women served their country in a way previously denied them. In this story, three such women grow up, fall in love, and, most importantly, find lasting friendship during wartime. In 1941 England, three adventuresome girls have just arrived at Lawrence farm in the beautiful Dorset countryside: Prue, sexy and vivacious (Anna Friel); innocent, hopeful Ag (Rachel Weisz); and dreamy, romantic Stella (Catherine McCormack). Together they are a sight for the sore eyes of Joe, the Lawrences’ only son, who is soon to be enlisted. As the war rages on and the girls settle in to learn the finer points of milking and plowing, they form a bond that changes their lives forever.

Adapted from Angela Hunt’s riveting novel, The Land Girls provides a wonderful account of this often-overlooked faction of the war effort. Leland positions the heat of battle as a glow on the horizon in order to give full attention to his characters’ lives as they unfold amidst the glorious landscape. Just as the actual Land Girl program brought out the best in young women, Leland is at his finest in letting the Land Girls’ story be told as it should be: exquisitely and with unfettered honesty.

David Leland, Director
David Leland’s previous films as writer and director include The Big Man, with Liam Neeson; Personal Services, with Julie Walters; and Wish You Were Here, with Emily Lloyd. His screenwriting credits also include Neil Jordan’s Mona Lisa, with Bob Hoskins.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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