Resisting Enemy Interrogation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Resisting Enemy Interrogation
Directed by Bernard Vorhaus[citation needed] (uncredited)
Produced by Ronald Reagan (producer)
Written by Harold Medford[citation needed] (uncredited)
Starring Arthur Kennedy
Lloyd Nolan
Don Porter
Craig Stevens
Peter Van Eyck
Carl Esmond
Music by David Rose
Distributed by First Motion Picture Unit, U.S. Army Air Forces
International Historic Films (IHF) (VHS release)
Release dates
  • 1944 (1944)
Running time
70 minutes
66 minutes (USA)
Country United States
Language English

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.[1] 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.



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.


  1. ^ "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

External links[edit]