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They Came to Blow Up America (1943)

Passed | | 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.

Director:

Edward Ludwig

Writers:

Aubrey Wisberg (screenplay), Michael Jacoby (original story) (as Michel Jacoby)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Sanders ... Carl Steelman / Ernst Reiter
Anna Sten ... Frau Reiter
Ward Bond ... FBI Chief Craig
Dennis Hoey ... Col. Taeger
Sig Ruman ... Dr. Herman Holger
Ludwig Stössel ... Papa Julius Steelman
Robert Barrat ... Capt. Kranz
Liesl Handl ... Helga Lorenz (as Poldy Dur)
Ralph Byrd ... Burkhardt
Elsa Janssen ... Mama Henrietta Steelman (as Else Janssen)
Rex Williams Rex Williams ... Eichner
Charles McGraw ... Zellerbach
Sven Hugo Borg ... Cmdr. Ullrich Hauser
Kurt Katch ... Schonzeit
Otto Reichow Otto Reichow ... Adam - S.S. Trooper
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A thrilling, untold story...shocking as a bomb blast! (original print ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 May 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

School for Sabotage See more »

Filming Locations:

Calabasas, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

 
Will George Sanders Blow Up America?
14 May 2014 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

At the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during World War II, mining company lawyer George Sanders (as Carl Steelman) has been taken to court. Supposedly, he brought eight Germans to the US (Amagansett, Long Island) to blow up America. The oddly-accented German-American Sanders has his story told in flashback. A suspected Nazi sympathizer, Sanders is recruited as a spy and goes to Germany. While posing as "Ernst Reiter", Sanders becomes romantically involved with attractive blonde Poldy Dur (as Helga Lorenz), another spy. Their relationship, as watched by the Nazis, is one of the more lively parts of the drama. Also interesting is when the wife of "Ernst Reiter" (Anna Sten) pays Sanders a surprise visit, and when his father (Ludwig Stossel) shares some exciting news from the FBI (Ward Bond) with his doctor (Sig Ruman). However, predictability takes away most of the story's excitement.

***** They Came to Blow Up America (5/7/43) Edward Ludwig ~ George Sanders, Poldi Dur, Anna Sten, Ludwig Stossel


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