MovieChat Forums > All Through the Night (1942) Discussion > The words Nazi or German were never utte...

The words Nazi or German were never uttered, why?


I thought it was curious that the bad guys were never referred to as Nazis or Germans but only as "fifth columnists". Even though swastikas and portraits of Hitler were shown and references to Dachau and concentration camps were mentioned, still they were just "fifth columnists". I wasn't familiar with the term, thought it was a slang term for Nazis but it really just means "a clandestine subversive organization working within a country to further an invading enemy's military and political aims". Maybe they didn't mention German to avoid offending patriotic Germans living in the US but I see no reason why they avoided the word Nazi.

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[deleted]

Although the movie came out in 1942, it's possible that the movie was filmed in 1941; before Germany declared war on the USA.
In regard to the vague references, I was reading a book about Peter Lorre which says that Joe Kauffman, Warner Brother's man in Germany, was caught in an alley in 1936 by Nazi thugs and beaten almost to death. That alone would have made them virulently anti-Nazi, but I guess they couldn't say anything until war was declared (December 12, 1941). The Warner's themselves having had to flee Poland because of pogroms were also quite familiar with anti-semitism. Around that time (late 30's early 40's)they were regarded as the most anti-Nazi studio in Hollywood.

cinefreak

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Interesting Point.If film was made after Dec 7,th 1941 I doubt if terrorist activiites within our borders would even be depicted that lightly, especially in a Runyoneesque type vehicle, with the likes of Phil Silvers and Jackie Gleason.In my comment on "Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe"(message board)I suggested that further sequels may have been ruled out, as the central theme was conflict with another civilization by air, and a ruler of oriental orgin,at least by name.

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Very first scene at table a guy does use the expression Nazis regarding the
toy battlefield. And 'Gloves' is told to get his nose out of the sports
page and see what's on the front page. (twice told that)
This reflects their contemporary view of US life after seeing the horrors
Europe did to itself in WWI. Whole generation destroyed and cultures
uprooted led only to huge inflation and Depression. Left Germany intact
with no clear winner or loser after all those years of trench fighting and
weapon development. Thinking was who the hell needs that. Germany easily
rebuilt itself into world leader. Why not just let them settle things
among themselves? Until it came too close to home. WTC anyone?
Otherwise just business. No need to offend a buying customer. Remember the problems FDR has even supplying England. IBM and lots of others were pleased with the German market as it was leading up to the US declaring war on Germany days after Pearl. Then the Germans in turn declared war. The Germans had quite a Front of powerful interests in the US.
Since most of the US was half aware of Euro theater then, why bother hitting
audience with political labels.
Notice how the recent good Clancy novel The Sum of All Fears had its villains
changed from middle east types to neo-nazis. Hollywood doesn't like to cut too
close to the bone. World Trade Center after 5 years. Now really. Must not
offend the oil sheiks and the expanding Muslim banking system.
So it goes.
Across the Pacific, 1942 with Bogart isn't shown much but it too is fast and
clever in that good early 40s way. "Something cool and long."



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It really is quite peculiar. When looking at the portrait of Hitler, Sunshine (William Demarest) calls him "Schickelgruber, the housepainter." Contemporary audiences would have known that Schickelgruber was a kind of nickname Hitler had (after the birthname of Hitler's father).

Later, when they are going into the meeting, the door goons greet Gloves (Bogart) and Sunshine with a boistrous "Heil Hitler!", to which they reply "Heil Hit..." and trail off without completing the word.

Very odd.

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This was touched upon on the DVD commentary track. Hollywood back the was getting some heat from politicians and the press for appearing to push the United States into the war in Europe. There were even hearings in Washington on the subject.

The producers of this movie toned it down a bit to avoid being labelled "warmongers."

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In his biography of Peter Lorre, Stephen Youngkin says that this film was made before the war declaration and that the German Consul in L.A. tried to get the production shut down.

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At the time, censorship prohibited films which could be construed as propaganda or "defamatory toward friendly nations." The Warner Brothers found themselves in court after making Confessions of a Nazi Spy and that movie was based on a true story. I hadn't noticed that the term "Nazi" was never used in association with the conspirators, but it really comes as no surprise.

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Actually Bogart has a line, "Every order that Berlin dishes out, these monkeys follow"

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