Resisting Enemy Interrogation (1944)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA, 1944.  , .  Screenplay by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Academy Awards 1944.

A good example of how what used to be called “documentary” would be labeled a PSA now.  This one takes place in a German prisoner of war camp, where G.I.s who have been instructed that, if captured, they should reveal nothing but their name, rank and serial number meet their captors.  Temptation abounds everywhere in a prison that treats its prisoners humanely: what’s the harm in telling the kindly nurse about your experiences in battle?  All interaction is porous, it turns out, and even the tightest of loose lips can sink ships.  The way this one plays out is not nearly as reactionary as it might seem; the way that the enemy predicts an Allied move based on the seemingly innocuous information that the soldiers let slip is actually pretty clever.   Viewing it after the war was actually won by the good guys makes it easy to see this film as paranoid, but remembering that Victory was not a foregone conclusion at this point might give you a great deal of appreciation for it.

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