Anatole Litvak's Confessions Of A Nazi Spy

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“The evening of April 27, 1939, will go down in screen history as a memorable one. It marked the first time in the annals of screen entertainment that a picture ever really said something definite about current events, really took sides and argued for the side with which it sympathized.” - Welford Beaton, Film Critic Anatole Litvak’s Confessions of a Nazi Spy encapsulates the rising paranoia of the Nazi regime within democratic powers, especially within the United States. The 1939 film approached its explicit viewpoint as a viewable propaganda, despite pitched as a true account FBI Agent Leon G. Turrou’s effort to end a Nazi spy ring. Warner Brother’s film was praised for emerging from Hollywood as openly anti-fascist cinema in a time where…show more content…
The blatant divide between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ caters to the film propagandic inclination. Evident throughout the film is the negative, stereotypical portrayal of Germans. Daringly, the Confessions of a Nazi Spy categorizes all Germans as Nazi followers. For example, Kurt Schneider, Franz Schlager and any other individual that openly support the Nazi regime speak English with a thick German accent. Clearly, the film wants audiences to correlate the archetypal accent with individuals who want to “destroy democracy”. Furthermore, when Schneider's wife and roommate attend film’s initial Nazi meeting, they lack the German accent as they speak, as well as those who spoke against Karl Kassel’s unpatriotic speech. To audiences, this portrays the failure of Germans in the U.S. to assimilate to American life, and in turn, actively rejecting American ideology. The absence of the German accent represents the support of the US and preservation of patriotism, apparent with the film’s fast-talking, projected hero: Edward Renard. With the country already having an unfavorable public opinion of Hitler’s regime, Confessions of a Nazi Spy paints a picture of his followers so they could be easily identified. Litvak’s film further implicates the arrogance of German and German-Americans through their behavior amongst their own kind. The bar where the charismatic Kassel gives his speeches,

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