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They Came to Blow Up America (1943)

| Drama, War | 7 May 1943 (USA)
An FBI agent infiltrates a Nazi sabotage school in Germany where men are trained for strategic destruction inside American borders.



(story) (as Michel Jacoby),


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Steelman / Ernst Reiter
Frau Reiter
FBI Chief Craig
Col. Taeger
Dr. Herman Holger
Papa Julius Steelman
Capt. Kranz
Helga Lorenz (as Poldy Dur)
Mama Henrietta Steelman (as Else Janssen)
Rex Williams ...
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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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
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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 »


When the German U-Boat surfaces near the U.S. coast, it is attacked by American bombers. The first two shots of the stock footage utilized show the attacking aircraft from the sub commander's view, the first through binocular- boxing on screen, are a trio of Lockheed Hudsons. But the overhead shot of the attack shows three Martin PBM Mariner flying boats, and then bombs are shown dropping out of a bomb-bay which the PBMs did not have. See more »


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

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User Reviews

George Sanders undercover
24 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"They Came to Blow up America" looks to be a B movie. It stars the suave, always reliable George Sanders as Steelman, an American of German heritage who is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate the Nazis as a spy. Even his parents believe that he has joined the Nazi movement. He is given the identity of someone else and sent to Germany, eventually ending up on a saboteur mission.

The film is told in flashback, with the FBI man who recruited Steelman (Ward Bond) explaining to an underling what really went on.

Sanders is good. He played villains well, so during the war, he was often cast as a Nazi! The supporting cast includes Anna Sten and Ludwig Stossel, who plays Steelman's father.

Ward Bond was a best friend of Clark Gable, and I couldn't help but notice the similarity of their voices in this film. Even their speaking rhythm was similar. Close your eyes, and you'd swear it was Gable.

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