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Friendly Enemies (1942)

 -  Drama  -  21 June 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 21 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

During World War I, two German men friends who emigrated to the US and become millionaires agree on most things, with one major difference: one has taken the US side against Germany ... See full summary »


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Title: Friendly Enemies (1942)

Friendly Enemies (1942) on IMDb 6/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Charles Winninger ...
Karl Pfeiffer
Heinrich Block
James Craig ...
Bill Pfeiffer
June Block
Anton Miller
Ilka Grüning ...
Mrs. Pfeiffer
Greta Meyer ...
Addison Richards ...
Inspector McCarthy
John Piffle ...
Ruth Holley ...
Dick Wessel ...
Delivery man


During World War I, two German men friends who emigrated to the US and become millionaires agree on most things, with one major difference: one has taken the US side against Germany regarding the war, while the other stays stubbornly loyal to "the old country". His stubbornness results in tragedy for his old friend and a lesson in the consequences of blind loyalty. Written by

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Plot Keywords:

based on play




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Release Date:

21 June 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amichevole rivalità  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Version of Friendly Enemies (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

Fine adaptation of long-running play
8 February 2014 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I have one serious problem with this film, which I will address in a bit. To begin, FRIENDLY ENEMIES was a dramatic play that ran an incredible 440 performances on Broadway from July 1918 to August 1919. The cast was made up of popular New York actors of the period, most of whom are today forgotten. The play was first adapted to the screen in 1925 and starred the Dutch-act comedy team of Lew Webber and Joe Fields. And therein lies the problem of this faithful-to-the-period talkie remake. Cast as two German patriarchs now ensconced in America are Charles Winninger and Charles Ruggles. Both Charlies were very fine actors with great comic timing. But for some reason director Allan Dwan had them emulate Webber & Fields' vaudeville-style Dutch accents rather than use more realistic dialects. He would have been better off using authentic German-American actors. Felix Bressart and Jean Hersholt would have been perfect. Ilka Gruning, who plays Winninger's wife, was Austrian and her authentic dialect was perfect. Much of the power of the dialogue was lost to distraction in the leading players' exaggerated accents. As always, Otto Kruger is very fine as the villain in the piece, understated and chillingly threatening. As with all Edward Small pictures of this period, the production values are first-rate. And, as with most Edward Small pictures of this period, FRIENDLY ENEMIES is very difficult to see. Keep an eye out for it. It remains a timely and thoughtful story.

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