Friendly Enemies (1942)

95 mins | Comedy-drama | 26 June 1942

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HISTORY

The play on which this film is based was produced on Broadway by A. H. Woods and featured Louis Mann and Sam Bernard in the starring roles. The play ran two seasons on Broadway before it was taken on the road. Actor Charles Winninger appeared in the stage version of Friendly Enemies in 1918. A 6 Feb 1942 HR production chart lists Sharon Douglas in the cast, but her participation in the released film has not been confirmed. President Woodrow Wilson provided the foreword to this film, and according to the publicity material, it marked the first time that a picture featured a direct quote from a President of the United States regarding the subject matter of the film. Publicity material also relates the difficulties that properties man Ken Walton encountered in trying to procure a German-language newspaper as a prop for the film at a time when the FBI was enforcing strict bans on the printing of German publications. Walton, according to the publicity sheet, was granted access to an FBI-impounded German-language press in Los Angeles only after an FBI investigation into the matter was completed and after two affidavits were filed by the production company stating that no actual publications with German type would be distributed. The play was first adapted for the screen in 1925, when Producers Distributing Corp. released a version of Friendly Enemies directed by George Melford and starring Lew Fields and Joe Weber (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.1972). Friendly Enemies was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound ... More Less

The play on which this film is based was produced on Broadway by A. H. Woods and featured Louis Mann and Sam Bernard in the starring roles. The play ran two seasons on Broadway before it was taken on the road. Actor Charles Winninger appeared in the stage version of Friendly Enemies in 1918. A 6 Feb 1942 HR production chart lists Sharon Douglas in the cast, but her participation in the released film has not been confirmed. President Woodrow Wilson provided the foreword to this film, and according to the publicity material, it marked the first time that a picture featured a direct quote from a President of the United States regarding the subject matter of the film. Publicity material also relates the difficulties that properties man Ken Walton encountered in trying to procure a German-language newspaper as a prop for the film at a time when the FBI was enforcing strict bans on the printing of German publications. Walton, according to the publicity sheet, was granted access to an FBI-impounded German-language press in Los Angeles only after an FBI investigation into the matter was completed and after two affidavits were filed by the production company stating that no actual publications with German type would be distributed. The play was first adapted for the screen in 1925, when Producers Distributing Corp. released a version of Friendly Enemies directed by George Melford and starring Lew Fields and Joe Weber (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.1972). Friendly Enemies was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Jun 1942.
---
Daily Variety
13 Feb 1942.
---
Daily Variety
18 Jun 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
24 Jun 42
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Feb 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Mar 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 42
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
27 Jun 42
p. 738.
New York Times
22 Jun 42
p. 19.
Variety
24 Jun 42
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Asst to prod
WRITER
Adpt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff ed
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Friendly Enemies by Samuel Shipman and Aaron Hoffman (New York, 22 Jul 1918).
SONGS
"My Country 'Tis of Thee," music by Henry Carey, lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith.
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 June 1942
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 19 June 1942
Production Date:
5 February--mid March 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Edward Small Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 June 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11368
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95
Length(in feet):
8,580
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8201
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the early days of World War I, Karl Pfeiffer, a German-born American who made his wealth in the brewery business in New York City, stands in opposition to President Woodrow Wilson's decision to send American troops to Europe. He fears that the people in his "Fatherland" will be obliterated by the Allied forces. Because Karl is excessively proud of his German heritage and has his own peculiar notions about how best to bring about peace in the world, he becomes susceptible to the manipulations of saboteur Anton Miller. Miller introduces himself to Karl as "George Stewart" and convinces Karl to donate $50,000 to a supposed propaganda campaign designed to end the war. Karl tells Miller that he can pick up the check the following day at his Upper East Side apartment. That night, Maria, his wife of thirty years, and June Block, his soon-to-be daughter-in-law, are preparing a dinner for June's father, Henry Block. Henry is an assimilated German-American with political views that are in direct opposition to those held by Karl. As soon as the two men come together, their usual quarreling ensues. Karl's opinions and his explosive temper are familiar to all who know him, and it is because of this that his family has kept secret the fact that his son William has enlisted in the American army. The secret is soon out of the bag, though, when William arrives with news of his regiment's departure for Europe and requests that his family assemble for an early wedding. Karl is devastated by the news and angrily storms out of the apartment. He returns the next day and tries, ... +


In the early days of World War I, Karl Pfeiffer, a German-born American who made his wealth in the brewery business in New York City, stands in opposition to President Woodrow Wilson's decision to send American troops to Europe. He fears that the people in his "Fatherland" will be obliterated by the Allied forces. Because Karl is excessively proud of his German heritage and has his own peculiar notions about how best to bring about peace in the world, he becomes susceptible to the manipulations of saboteur Anton Miller. Miller introduces himself to Karl as "George Stewart" and convinces Karl to donate $50,000 to a supposed propaganda campaign designed to end the war. Karl tells Miller that he can pick up the check the following day at his Upper East Side apartment. That night, Maria, his wife of thirty years, and June Block, his soon-to-be daughter-in-law, are preparing a dinner for June's father, Henry Block. Henry is an assimilated German-American with political views that are in direct opposition to those held by Karl. As soon as the two men come together, their usual quarreling ensues. Karl's opinions and his explosive temper are familiar to all who know him, and it is because of this that his family has kept secret the fact that his son William has enlisted in the American army. The secret is soon out of the bag, though, when William arrives with news of his regiment's departure for Europe and requests that his family assemble for an early wedding. Karl is devastated by the news and angrily storms out of the apartment. He returns the next day and tries, unsuccessfully, to convince his son to reconsider his decision. When Miller collects the $50,000 check from Karl, he discovers that Karl is a friend of the wealthy Henry, and asks that he arrange a meeting with him. Soon after William boards his transport ship for Europe, Karl gets a telephone call from Miller, who informs him that his money was used to help sink the transport ship as it was leaving harbor. Now realizing that he was horribly misled by Miller, Karl vows revenge and plans to kill him. Henry's cool-headedness prevails, though, and the two decide to snare the saboteur instead. Soon after Miller arrives at Karl's to meet Henry, he is coaxed into revealing his true identity, at which point the police enter and arrest him. Karl's son, it turns out, did not perish in the ship tragedy and returns home safely. Reunited with his son, Karl vows to reject his earlier political beliefs and insists that henceforth his family refer to strudel as "apple pie." Karl then celebrates his newly found American patriotism by joining his family in a rousing chorus of "My Country 'Tis of Thee." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.