Film: 1508

War + Military | 1940 | Sound | B/W


Careless talk costs lives propaganda from World War Two. Good soldiers on leave scenes. One tells his mother something and she spreads it around. Also warnings about foreigners in occupied countries, don’t trust them. North Africa.

Text : 'Chatterbug - a military training film. In war the enemy wants to learn all about our forces - where they are, how strong they are, how they are armed and what their plans are. These things give him some information - arial and ground reconnasance - interception of communications - interrogation of prisoners. Frequently he gets the rest from YOU'.
View of a comfortable sitting room. A soldier in a WW2 army tunic empties the ash from his pipe into the fireplace. He is talking to a woman sitting in an armchair. Narrator says the enemy pieces together bits of information to get a pattern of our plans. You may trust the person you are telling but they may pass it on to someone they trust. View of the woman in a newpaper shop. She tells the newsagent. He in turn tells another customer. That customer tells another woman and she tells another man. He tells his barber. Narrator says that your information has become common gossip. The barber calls for his next client. The barber tells his new client. The narrator says that sooner or later the news will reach an enemy agent. Back to the image of the man in an army tunic in the sitting room. Narrator says You are to blame for the gossip. Image of a man entering a bar. There are a group of men talking around a table. Narrator says careless talk does not only come from those who drink but from everywhere. Scene of a car mechanics workshop. A servicewoman is fixing a car. She says to the serviceman in the workshop that there is a dance on Saturday. The serviceman says he overheard the major and the captain talking when he was driving for them/. They said that the troops will be posted before Saturday. Image of a woman in a tea shop serving soldiers some tea. She asks them if they have heard Hitler's new bomb. She knows all about their armaments as her husband is in the Home Guard. A soldier corrects her and gives away information about their weaponary. Street scene of a green grocers stall. Two women are talking about their husbands in the army. The green grocer overhears them. One women says that her husbands leave has been cancelled, the other says it is because they are getting ready to be posted overseas on the 20th of the month. Narrator says you may be so used to information that it does not seem secret. View of two soldiers talking about their communications - long wave, short wave and intercom. View of a nice resturant. A serviceman and servicewoman enter and sit at a table. The serviceman tells his girlfriend that his unit have all had new passport photos taken, he is overheard by the waitress. Narrator says careless talk is even more dangerous overseas. View of a middle eastern or north African town. Text : Don't trust too much the friendliness of the native population, even though they welcome you with open arms. Image of soldiers riding on a tank. Narrator says that the population welcomed the troops and then a few months later welcomed the Hun. Image of the local population saluting Nazi tanks. Text ; Don't imagine that foreigners cannot understand English just because they show no signs of doing so. View of a North African tavern. Narrator says not to relax even if you are miles from the front line. A group of officers discuss the number of troops holding a position. One inferrs that if the German army attacked the position could not be defended, the waiter overhears the conversation. Narrator says to be careful when you are wounded. View of several servicemen lying on stretchers. A young pretty girl attends them. She gives one of the soldiers a cigarette. He asks he is she can speak English. She doesn't understand. The soldier discusses with another injured serviceman when their unit is going to be relieved. The injured sargeant orders them to be quiet, the soldiers say the girl can’t speak English. View of the girl strapping a message to the leg of a carrier pigeon and she releases the bird. Images of all the people in the film who have talked carelessly. Narrator says not to trust anyone with information, be careful when drinking, overseas etc. Image of a brick being placed on another. A wall is built. Narrator says that each bit of information builds a picture. Close up of a man's face, zooms in on his closed mouth. Narrator says "Keep your mouth shut!"

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