Fifth Column

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 5, 2004

    Term with its origin in the Spanish Civil War. General Emilio Mola, a pro-Franco, Nationalist general boasted that he had four columns of troops marching against Madrid, and a fifth column of sympathizers inside the city itself. The phrase was popularized in the U.S. by Ernest Hemingway, who wrote a play enitled Fifth Column about the war.

    Aside from the title of Fifth Column Mouse (Freleng, 1943), the phrase is used, quite appropriately, in the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing gag in Foney Fables (Freleng, 1942). Porky Pig asks all Fifth Columnists to leave the theatre before a newsreel full of military secrets is shown in Meet John Doughboy (Clampett, 1941).

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

• Back to the Glossary
• The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion is © (copyright) 1996 E. O. Costello. All rights reserved.

Latest News