Brow Beat

Wondering Whether or Not You Should Kill Your Friends? Consult the United States Navy’s 1943 Training Film “Don’t Kill Your Friends!”

A film title screen reading "Don't Kill Your Friends."
Not even once. U.S. Navy

It’s always nice when a movie has a positive, practical message, and there’s no message more practical or positive than “don’t kill your friends.” That simple, but easy to forget piece of human wisdom is at the center of “Don’t Kill Your Friends,” in which Huntz Hall, as “Ensign Dilbert” keeps killing his friends. He also kills some innocent civilians with whom he seems to have no prior relationship!

Why did Hollywood stop making movies that everyone could enjoy? Why doesn’t Dilbert accidentally decapitate people with a tow line more often in the comic strip? Should we kill our friends? “Don’t Kill Your Friends” raises all these questions. And answers one of them.