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13 Rue Madeleine (1946)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 1946 (UK)
When spy chief Bob Sharkey finds out one of his agents-in-training is actually a Nazi double agent, his strategic decision not to arrest him results in tragedy.

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Pappy Simpson
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Mayor Galimard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Psychiatrist (scenes deleted)
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Burglary Instructor (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Documentary-style prologue follows training of O.S.S. agents for WWII work behind enemy lines. One of the group is a German "mole;" leaders Gibson and Sharkey are aware of this and scheme to feed him false info about the invasion of Europe, while the real agents go to France to find a secret V-2 rocket depot. But the German spy outsmarts them and rejoins his people knowing too much; Bob Sharkey takes the risk of going in after him. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

1946 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

32 Rue Madeleine  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to military intelligence and secrecy reasons, American Hollywood Studios were prevented by the US Government from mentioning the OSS (the Office of Strategic Services) in movies during World War II. Alas, the OSS is not mentioned in this movie. See more »

Goofs

In the French village, Cagney originally appears with a .45 automatic. Next he carries a large revolver, then the automatic. When he is involved in the shootout, he uses the revolver. See more »

Quotes

Charles Gibson: I don't want to send you.
Robert Emmett 'Bob' Sharkey: I've been working hard. I need the change.
Charles Gibson: You won't come back.
Robert Emmett 'Bob' Sharkey: [Gibson drops his eyes] I've just discovered something about you.
Charles Gibson: What?
Robert Emmett 'Bob' Sharkey: You're a worrier.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Prologue, shown printed in a book: No single story could ever pay full tribute to the accomplishments of the U.S. Army Intelligence in World War II. Working secretly behind enemy lines, in close cooperation with our Allies, its brilliant work was an acknowledged factor in the final victory. The page turns to reveal: In order to obtain the maximum of realism and authenticity, all the exterior and interior settings in this Motion Picture were photographed in the field - - and, whenever possible, at the actual locations. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Monkeybone (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

High Quality WWII Espionage Thriller
12 April 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

It gets off to a terrible start. An off-screen narrator, in a strict, authoritarian tone, announces to us lowly viewers that the film is a "tribute to the accomplishments by the U.S. Army Intelligence in WWII". Beyond this dreadful introduction, however, a credible story about American espionage, wrapped in a high quality cinematic package, provides viewers with a worthwhile payoff.

Bob Sharkey (James Cagney) trains young men and women to be American secret agents. These "077 candidates" go through tough physical and mental tests. Candidates who succeed are then sent on military intelligence assignments overseas. But one of those being trained by Sharkey is a German mole, working for Hitler.

In the film's first half, Sharkey finds the mole. The second half plot follows Sharkey's efforts both to deactivate the mole, and to find a man named Duclois, the builder of a German rocket depot, a facility constructed to launch bombs against England, and located in Nazi-occupied France. The mole, headquartered in an imposing building at 13 Rue Madeleine in the French port city of Le Havre, cleverly makes Sharkey's double mission difficult. And the film ends with a riveting climax that is surprisingly realistic for a 1940's film.

Cagney gives a really good performance. The film's screenplay allows for sufficient character development, unusual for WWII films. And with tight editing, the plot zips along at a fast pace, covering a lot of story material, so that viewers need to pay attention or risk missing important plot details.

Except for that awful prologue, everything about "13 Rue Madeleine" is high quality: the costumes, the dialogue, the B&W cinematography, and especially the acting and the editing. Director Henry Hathaway even uses authentic locales, further elevating the film's overall quality.

As a WWII espionage thriller, I cannot think of a better film than "13 Rue Madeleine".


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