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Confirm or Deny

Confirm or Deny(1941)

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In September, 1940, brash American "Mitch" Mitchell works in London as a newspaper correspondent for Consolidated Press of America. Believing that Germany will soon invade England, Mitch persuades Sir Titus Scott to allow the news agency to rent his leased wire to Penzance, which will give Mitch's paper a forty-minute lead over the other American newspapers. Mitch enlists twelve-year-old office boy Albert Perkins and elderly Mr. Bindle in his plans, which include waiting for two carrier pigeons bearing news of the invasion. One evening, Mitch meets Ministry of Information teletype operator Jennifer Carson during an air raid, and they spend the night with other refugees in an underground station. The next day, Mitch learns that the Consolidated building has been nearly destroyed by the bombing, and after some fast-talking, he persuades hotel manager Hobbs to allow the agency to set up shop in the wine cellar of the Regency Hotel. Mitch also convinces Mininstry of Information official Duffield to lend him a teletype machine and the services of Jennifer, as well as an official censor, Captain Lionel Channing. Mitch is frustrated when Channing refuses to allow him to send any information concerning Hitler's movements and the possible invasion, but nonetheless begins to romance Jennifer. During another raid, a bomb crashes through to the wine cellar, and when Jeff, Mitch's blind assistant, hears it ticking, Mitch casually empties the cellar of its occupants. Jennifer, not knowing that the bomb is live, believes that Mitch is scheming to get rid of Channing so that he can send out uncensored stories. She insists on staying behind with Mitch, and soon they are trapped in the cellar when another bomb closes off the exit. Jennifer asks him to forget about his scoop and instead consider what is best for England, but Mitch ignores her pleas and prepares his story. Soon after, Albert telephones to say that the one of the pigeons has come in with the expected message, and Mitch tries to send the story. Telling him that he will only be helping the enemy by revealing what British Intelligence knows, Jennifer struggles with him, but Mitch overpowers her. He is about to send the story to his New York office when Albert calls again and is killed during an air raid as he tells Mitch about a second pigeon. As Mitch and Jennifer absorb what has happened, the New York office repeatedly sends the message "Confirm or Deny," asking Mitch for more information on the invasion story. Mitch is devastated by the sacrifice he has forced Albert to make, however, and so composes a story about the boy's courage, then sends it and his resignation to the news agency. The rescue squad then breaks through to the cellar, and Mitch and Jennifer leave together.