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They Came to Blow Up America (1943)

 -  Drama | War  -  7 May 1943 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 137 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.

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Cast

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)
Ralph Byrd ...
Burkhardt
Elsa Janssen ...
Mama Henrietta Steelman (as Else Janssen)
Rex Williams ...
Eichner
...
Zellerbach
Sven Hugo Borg ...
Cmdr. Ullrich Hauser
Kurt Katch ...
Schonzeit
Otto Reichow ...
Adam - S.S. Trooper
Edit

Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

7 May 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

School for Sabotage  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

U-159 is depicted as dispatching the 4 saboteurs when is fact the actual submarine was U202. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
My, how Hollywood attitudes have changed!
5 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a fine example of the kind of patriotic films that were produced by Hollywood during the Second World War, a far cry from the anti-American, terrorist-sympathetic views being promoted by contemporary filmmakers.

George Sanders, a successful mining engineer working in South America, returns home to visit his German immigrant parents, who are unashamedly patriotic about the USA. They are dismayed to find that Sanders is working for the German-American Bund, a pro-Nazi group active in the early years of the war.

But there is more to the story. The plot gets more involved, as secret missions and identities are revealed, and betrayals threaten the lives of the main characters. In the end, a gang of Nazi saboteurs is rounded up and executed, much to everyone's satisfaction.

THEY CAME TO BLOW UP America (what an ominous title for us today!) reveals how attitudes have changed in the film industry over the past 60+ years. This film is not ashamed to be overtly pro-American. No one hesitates when it comes to punishing members of anti- American organizations. And no one bats an eye when a teacher talks about using his belt to keep ornery grade school kids in line! This is a fine example of a WW2 espionage movie designed to stir the sentiments of the American viewing audience.


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