Resisting Enemy Interrogation
|Resisting Enemy Interrogation|
|Directed by||Bernard Vorhaus (uncredited)|
|Produced by||Ronald Reagan (producer)|
|Written by||Harold Medford (uncredited)|
Peter Van Eyck
|Music by||David Rose|
|Distributed by||First Motion Picture Unit, U.S. Army Air Forces
International Historic Films (IHF) (VHS release)
66 minutes (USA)
Resisting Enemy Interrogation is a 1944 American army training film, directed by Bernard Vorhaus and written by Harold Medford, that was designed to train U.S. Army Air Forces crews to resist interrogation by the Germans.
The film, 62 minutes in length, received an Academy Award nomination for best feature-length documentary for the year 1944. It has been played recently on Turner Classic Movies. The cast includes Arthur Kennedy, Mel Tormé, Lloyd Nolan, Craig Stevens and Peter Van Eyck.
Sinclair was a captain in the U.S. Army Air Forces when the movie was made.
The movie centers around efforts by German intelligence to find the target of an upcoming raid by the mythical "B-99 bomber." To achieve this end, they interrogate a recently shot-down air crew.
The German officers use various methods to discover this information, some of them quite subtle. Though no physical brutality is used, the Germans at one point stage a mock execution to scare a prisoner. Another prisoner is subjected to isolation to heighten his fear. Red Cross officers and nurses use their position to extract information from the prisoners. Each airman eventually provides useful information because of their arrogance, fear, or naivete. Some of what they say, which the enemy finds useful, seems innocuous but is used by the Germans as pieces to solve the larger puzzle.
In the end, the Germans are able to find the target of the raid and the B-99 bombing mission is intercepted. The intended target is spared heavy damage and 21 B-99's are shot down with the loss of 105 aircrew. The message of the movie, delivered by an intelligence officer played by Lloyd Nolan, is to not talk under any circumstances, that even innocuous conversation can help the enemy, not to let down one's guard, everything in a prison camp is suspect, and to not try to outwit the enemy.
- Louis Adlon as Major Franz Kohmer (uncredited)
- Rand Brooks as Pilot (uncredited)
- Frederic Brunn as German Yard Guard (uncredited)
- George Dolenz as Captain Volbricht (uncredited)
- Poldi Dur as Nazi Nurse (uncredited)
- Carl Esmond as Major von Behn - Nazi Commandant (uncredited)
- Steven Geray as Dr. Victor Münz - Camp Doctor (uncredited)
- Arthur Kennedy as Sergeant Alfred Mason (uncredited)
- Sam Locke as Nazi (uncredited)
- Lloyd Nolan as USAF Debriefing Officer / Narrator (uncredited)
- George O'Hanlon as American Pilot at Headquarters (uncredited)
- Don Porter as Lieutenant Frank L. Williams, Jr. - American Co-pilot (uncredited)
- Otto Reichow as German Prison Guard (uncredited)
- Henry Rowland as German Sergeant Renser (uncredited)
- Hans Schumm as German Guard (uncredited)
- James Seay as Captain James Spencer (uncredited)
- Kent Smith as Captain Reining - American Working for the Nazis (uncredited)
- Craig Stevens as B-26 Pilot (uncredited)
- Charles Tannen as Sergeant Freulich - German Prison Plant (uncredited)
- Mel Tormé as American Pilot (uncredited)
- Peter van Eyck as Captain Granach - Young Nazi Officer (uncredited)
- Hans Heinrich von Twardowski as Herr Mahler - German Red Cross Representative (uncredited)
- Max Wilk as Nazi (uncredited)
In 1950, the film story was purchased from Medford to be made in a Universal-International motion picture with a working title of "Prisoner of War." The film, entitled "Target Unknown," was released by Universal in 1951 with a screenplay by Medford. It was directed by George Sherman with a cast led by Mark Stevens. The climax of the film is changed to an escape of the prisoners.
- "NY Times: Resisting Enemy Interrogation". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- Article in Washington City Paper
- "Hollywood Dossier," The New York Times, April 30, 1950
- "Retired Director is Slain on Coast," (UPI dispatch),The New York Times, Jan. 5, 1970