They Came to Blow Up America (1943)

 |  Drama, War  |  7 May 1943 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 144 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 6 critic

An FBI agent infiltrates a Nazi sabotage school in Germany where men are trained for strategic destruction inside American borders.



(story) (as Michel Jacoby) ,
0Check in
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Blackmail (1939)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

John Ingram, successful oil-field firefighter, is really a chain-gang escapee. Someone out of his past finds him...

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Ruth Hussey, Gene Lockhart
The Mob (1951)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Broderick Crawford, Betty Buehler, Richard Kiley
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A mild-mannered school-teacher in a Nazi-occupied town during W.W.II finds himself being torn between collaboration and resistance.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, George Sanders
Hard to Get (1938)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When spoiled young heiress Maggie Richards tries to charge some gasoline at an auto camp run by Bill Davis, he makes her work out her bill by making beds. Resolving to get even, she ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Dick Powell, Olivia de Havilland, Charles Winninger
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Vincent Van Der Lyn, a Dutch freedom fighter in WWII, is forced to neutral Lisbon to escape the Nazis. There he meets a small band of underground conspirators. The group's leader, Ricardo ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Mac's plans to settle down and raise a family are upset by the Korean War. He goes as a fighter pilot and returns a hero, the first triple ace of the war. His neighbors have built a home ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Alan Ladd, June Allyson, James Whitmore
Man Hunt (1941)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A Ukrainian village must suddenly contend with the Nazi invasion of June 1941.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Alcoholic lawyer sobers up to defend friend in murder case.

Director: Seymour Friedman
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Jane Wyatt, Carl Benton Reid
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Out on patrol in the war-time desert a Canadian corporal reminisces about the woman he has left behind in London and ponders whether she will fall for the charms of his rival in love. At ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara, Thomas Mitchell
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

William Powell plays William Foster, a slick attorney who stays within the law, but specializes in representing crooks and shady characters. He's adept at keeping them out of jail, winning ... See full summary »

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: William Powell, Kay Francis, Scott Kolk
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Sam Gallagher (Pat O'Brien), a former foreign correspondent and now a United States Government agent, gets a job through his brother Jeff (Chester Morris), whom he has not seen in seven ... See full summary »

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Carole Landis, Chester Morris


Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Steelman / Ernst Reiter
Frau Reiter
FBI Chief Craig
Dennis Hoey ...
Col. Taeger
Sig Ruman ...
Dr. Herman Holger
Ludwig Stössel ...
Papa Julius Steelman
Robert Barrat ...
Capt. Kranz
Helga Lorenz (as Poldy Dur)
Elsa Janssen ...
Mama Henrietta Steelman (as Else Janssen)
Rex Williams ...
Sven Hugo Borg ...
Cmdr. Ullrich Hauser
Kurt Katch ...
Otto Reichow ...
Adam - S.S. Trooper


Because of his German parentage, government agent Carl Steelman is assigned to by his chief, Craig, to join the Nazi Bund, to obtain information on the underground activities of the group. Steelman is welcomed and becomes a trusted member of the group. His father, Julius Steelman, unaware of this son's real mission, drives him from their home. The government agents raid a Bund meeting and Steelman assumes the identity of one of the members who was about to depart to Germany for training. In Berlin, Steelman meets and falls in love with Helga Lorenz, a member of the German underground. In order to hide his true identity and complete his mission, Steelman has to betray the girl to the Gestapo, but later manages to rescue her and see her safely on her way to England. Frau Reiter, wife of the man whose identity Steelman has assumed, threatens to turn him over to the police. He convinces the Gestapo that she is crazy and she is confined to an insane asylum. His training completed, Steelman... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War





Release Date:

7 May 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

School for Sabotage  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Suggested by a true incident that occurred in 1942 when eight Nazi saboteurs were put ashore on the coast of Long Island, New York, by submarine, with orders to blow up various defense installations. They were caught, tried, and several were executed. See more »


Early in the film, a building in Berlin is shown with a sign that says "Abteilung Geheimdienst", which means "Secret Service". However, it was translated in the film as "Naval Intelligence". A more appropriate sign would have read "Marine Nachrichten Geheimdienst". See more »


Edited into All This and World War II (1976) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Traitors in Our Midst
5 September 2008 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

The first person we see in this movie is Ludwig Stossel, best remembered as the father of Lou Gehrig in PRIDE OF THE YANKEES. He is German, naturlich, and has spent the last twenty years teaching in Milwaukee, so of course, his son is George Sanders with that British Public School Accent. Oh well.

Still, the story is a good one, based on a true incident, and for an apparent B movie, the acting, direction and photography -- by the wonderful and sadly forgotten Lucien Andriot -- are well up to par. Notice, for example, whose picture is on the dartboard at SS headquarters. And besides Mr. Stossel, we see some wonderful supporting actors, including Anna Sten, Ward Bond and Sig Ruman. So, while this is not a great movie, it is certain worth your time

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss They Came to Blow Up America (1943) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: