The Enemy

1963 | United Kingdom

A young Englishman makes many friends in Vienna, but all of them turn against him with the outbreak of the first world war. After the Armistice, he returns to find nothing but bitterness and despair. War is abominable and useless-a trite truism today. Not so when The Enemy was written shortly after the First World War. The message then was new, and so it makes a fitting end to this symposium of World War One stories. 

The Enemy takes place in Vienna and, briefly, at the front. Carl Behrend (Christopher Guinee), a budding author, has just married Pauli Arndt (Kika Markham) when war breaks out. Pauli and her father, Professor Arndt (George Pravda), realise the futility of war; Carl and his father, August (Derek Francis), are patriots, although Carl goes only reluctantly into the Austrian Army as a lieutenant. Bruce Gordon (Danvers Walker), an Englishman staying with the Andts, is welcome until war fever grips Austria. Then personal friendships fall victim to the impersonal enmities of countries. 

Author Channing Pollock then shows how patriotism is not enough to save life and limb nor to feed under-nourished babies. He exposes all the futility of the war which was to end wars and the terrible peacetime reckoning it brought to the defeated. The Enemy was first produced in London in 1925, and was filmed in America starring Lillian Gish as Pauli. This version, for Play of the Week was adapted by Derek Hill. Other plays in the "For King and Country short series: Part One-Out There Part Two-The Barricade Part Three-Tunnel Trench.

Published on March 16th, 2019. Written by Based on original TV Times article and adapted for Television Heaven.

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