WWII “Loose Lips Sink Ships” Anti-espionage Propaganda Film “Sucker Bait”
This black and white military propaganda film T.F.30 #2033 is one of two parts; this is Part Two. It was shown to theatre audiences as part of the “loose lip sink ships” WWII warnings. It opens where Part One left off. The woman orders a drink from a waiter as the soldier steps over. The two flirt. He lights her cigarette first and lights his off hers. She asks him questions while a man listens in (:05-1:35). The couple kiss, dance, and have more drinks. He gets drunk and loud. (1:36-3:50). An MP stops him (3:51). The listening man is actually FBI. He shows his ID to the woman, who runs away (3:52-4:28). The Federal Officer hands the soldier’s letter to the MP. Men bring in the blonde’s boyfriend, who gets her address from him. She runs down the street and into an apartment building. We find she’s actually a German spy. The male spy locks the door. Angry, he slaps her twice. The FBI agents climb the stairs, guns ready. Inside, the man escapes but the FBI breaks in and catches the female spy (4:29-6:16). Outside, shots are fired through the fire escape and the spy is hit. The newspaper headline proclaims the capture of the spy ring (6:17-6:56). Back in the classroom, the lesson continues, starting with the soldier’s father who was to meet his son. That did not happen, but he did leave a goodbye note for his parents. His mother dials a 1940s phone and passes on a message to the soldier’s girlfriend. She is to think of him Wednesday and to play a particular song. The girl puts a coin in a juke box, which plays “Waiting on the Robert E. Lee”. They talk in front of a man. A woman at Western Union uses a teletypewriter to send coded information but the convoy has left. (6:57-11:00). At the Army Transport Service, the boyfriend absent-mindedly writes out secret convoy information. The pretty typist leaves the carbon paper on her desk, where it blows on the floor for a janitor (11:01-14:13). The soldier’s mother serves tea and cookies and complains to a group of women, some wearing 1940s hats (14:14-15:03). At the 3 Monkeys Pool Parlor, the new German spy headquarters, the carbon paper is examined for its convoy details. Another found paper provides other details. Photographs taken by soldiers and sent home were duplicated and examined for the new model tank shown in them. (15:04-16:35). They climb up a ladder to an attic office, where a spy plots the course for a German sub to destroy the convoy. He uses a Morse code radio to send the message to German HQ. The location is pinpointed on a map (16:36-18:44). Shown are actual pictures of German U2 submarines waiting for a convoy. A torpedo is loaded, fired, and a ship hit. More torpedoes are fired; more ships destroyed. Soldiers try to swim away from a sinking ship. The shocked audience would have gotten the message.