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Secret Command (1944)

 -  Action | Drama | War  -  30 July 1944 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 142 users  
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Sam Gallagher (Pat O'Brien), a former foreign correspondent and now a United States Government agent, gets a job through his brother Jeff (Chester Morris), whom he has not seen in seven ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Eddie Sutherland)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Secret Command (1944)

Secret Command (1944) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
...
Jeff Gallagher
...
Lea Damaron
...
Red Kelly
Tom Tully ...
Colonel Hugo Von Braun aka 'Brownie' Brownell
Wallace Ford ...
Miller
...
Max Lessing
Erik Rolf ...
Ben Royall
Matt McHugh ...
Curly
Frank Sully ...
Shawn
Frank Fenton ...
Simms
Charles D. Brown ...
James Thane
Carol Nugent ...
Joan
Richard Lyon ...
Paul
Edit

Storyline

Sam Gallagher (Pat O'Brien), a former foreign correspondent and now a United States Government agent, gets a job through his brother Jeff (Chester Morris), whom he has not seen in seven years, in the Seaboard Shipyards as a "pileback" in order to track down a gang of Nazi spies who are plotting to sabotage the shipyards. Jill McCann (Carole Landis),an FBI agent, poses as Sam's wife, and two children, 6-year-old Paul (Richard Lyon), and 4-year-old-Joan (Carol Nugent),complete his "cover family." THe set-up looks fishy to Jeff, and he imparts his suspicions to Lea Damoran (Ruth Warrick, the girl both brothers had courted in the old days. Meanwhile, Sam works hard and makes friends with most of the men in his crew. He gets a line on the saboteurs and one by one, their identities are revealed to him. The Nazis, led by Brownell (Tom Tully)who, in reality, is Colonel Von Braun of the German Gestapo, plan to blow up the yard while an aircraft carrier is docked there. Jeff's noisy ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Adapted from the SAturday Evening Post Story "THe SAboteurs" by John Hawkins and Ward Hawkins (all poster sand print ads) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 July 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comando secreto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

After Jeff falls from the gantry and is rescued by Sam, they are putting the "unconscious" Jeff on a stretcher and he visibly lifts his right arm up on to the stretcher. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Story the standout in a mediocre espionage film
17 September 2001 | by (Putney, VT) – See all my reviews

The film is based on a story THE SABOTEURS taken from the Saturday Evening Post by John and Ward Hawkins. The story is an absorbing one but it has been given mediocre treatment in this Grade B wartime melodrama, set in a shipyard.

Pat O'Brien is an undercover agent who is set up in his home town with a fake wife and children to join a shipyard and ferret out Nazi saboteurs. Complications ensue in that the foreman (Chester Morris) is his brother and he is holding a grudge against O'Brien for dropping out of the family's life for four years, not even responding to news of the death of their mother, and leaving his former girlfriend (Ruth Warrick) high and dry. Considering Morris hopes to marry Warrick if she can ever get O'Brien out of her heart, he has a vested interest in suspecting his brother of shady dealings. Carole Landis plays the fake wife and this is also complicated by the fact that she and O'Brien are falling for each other, despite their pact that the arrangement is "strictly business."

There are Nazis and sympathizers not only amongst the shipyard's crew but in higher up places, places we least suspect. All this material could have made a very gripping film but instead we get a routinely directed, acted and filmed potboiler and a pretty tame spy story at that.

The hoot is that it got nominated for an Oscar for Special Effects, despite the fact that there are none in the film. This was during the early forties when every studio could name what it considered its best in the categories of Sound, Song, Original Score, Adapted Score and Special Effects and be guaranteed a nomination. In this case, the Academy was duped - I guess no one screened the films being nominated in each category. The effect is that of giving an Art Direction nod to a film shot entirely in the desert or a Costume Design nod to a film set in a nudist colony. One of the best jokes ever perpetrated on the Academy.

There are some back projection shots but these hardly constitute special effects.

A minor film not worth seeking out. Note that the young actor who plays the refugee boy who masquerades as O'Brien's real son is Richard Lyon, so effective as the creepy child in THE UNSEEN.


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