Friday, May 11, 2012

London Can Take It!

It's not much, but TCM is showing the short London Can Take It!. Like 49th Parallel, it's an example of British propaganda designed to influence American public opinion in the period before the US joined World War II. If you've watched any movies set during the early stages of World War II, you'll know that the Nazis tried to bomb the UK into submission by running countless air-raids over London. London Can Take It! shows the results of these air raids, but also shows that dammit, the good people of the UK aren't going to let Nazi Germany get them down. Sometimes I wonder whether that wouldn't lead neutrals to believe, "If they can take it, why do they need our help?" But public opinion is a funny thing.

Even before the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the US into World War II, American audiences saw some movies where the air raids were a plot point. Foreign Correspondent, which just aired the other day, might be the best known, but there are also movies like Confirm Or Deny, which like 49th Parallel had the interesting luck of being made before the US got dragged into the war, but a release date afterwards.

London Can Take It! was included as an extra on a DVD release of James Cagney's The Fighting 69th, and I think might also be available in one of the Cagney box sets.

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