World War 2

Law & Order: P.O.W. Unit

Friday A/V Club: Ways of making you talk


Resisting Enemy Interrogation was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar, though it's not a documentary as the term is usually used today. It's a World War II–era military training film that tells a scripted story, dramatizing the ways that Germans might try to extract information from their prisoners. Carefully, methodically, the captors trick their captives into revealing important intelligence.

Here's what's weird about it: The story delves so deeply into the nitty-gritty of the interrogators' methods, observing as they piece together their puzzle, that the bulk of it is basically a police procedural shot from the Nazi point of view. If there's a Law & Order in the Man in the High Castle universe, it probably looks a lot like this:

In 1951 the film was remade as a regular theatrical war movie, called Target Unknown. I don't think that happened with any of those training films about venereal disease, but you never know.

(For past editions of the Friday A/V Club, go here.)