HANOVER STREET - AMC Academy, AMC Skyline, Aspen Hill, Jenifer, Landoover Mall, Laurel Cinema, Marlow, Springfield Mall and Tyson's Twin.

Exactly what year was yesteryear?

We're all hankering for those innocent days when life was simple and ordinary people were brave and honorable, but nobody can agree on when they took place. Every day, in these corrupt times, another play or festival or movies gives us a different date: the 1950s or the 1830s or the turn of the century.

"Hanover Street" pinpoints this period as December 1943. That, it says on the screen in plain writing before the film starts, was "a time when the choices were clear" and "a time of courage and honor - of passion and sacrifice." So that's when it was.

You may recall, or you can look it up, that there was a war going on then. According to the theory of this film, that made every behave extremely well. Ti shows Londoners who are having bombs dropped on them continually wondering whether the Germans aren't just people like themselves, Christmas shopping for their children and wanting the war to be over. You can hardly behave better than that.

Another premise is that love was different in 1943. People still fell into it, but they behaved better when there were complications. In this film, Lesley-Anne Down plays an Englishwoman who is happily married to a British intelligence officer, played by Christopher Plummer, but is also in love with an American pilot, played by Harrison Ford. She is so noble that she worries all the time about breaking the heart of one or the other or even herself. One time she gets so worked up over it that she drops the teapot and breaks that.

In a cynical age, she would figured,"What the hell - one or the other of them or both is bound to get killed any day now, anyhow, so the choice will be made for me." However, being as this is a time of courage and honor and passion and sacrifice, all three are always exhibiting courage and honor and passion and sacrifice for one another, which is noble but also dreary.

Students of the period, particularly those who have studied it through the film, will recall this as a time when the wisecrack flourished among the American armed forces (the Germans communicated with one another through shouts only), and it's unfortunate that this picture does not succeed in its attempt to recreate the heyday of this art.There are some snappy moments when the hero and heroine meet, on Hanover Street, but after that it's downhill. They sink into a morass of nobility. CAPTION: Picture, HARRISON FORD AND LESLIE-ANNE DOWN, FALLING IN LOVE IN "HARRISON STREET."