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John Martin is part of an American spy team dropped into France during World War II to destroy the French railway system. After successfully blowing up a tunnel he runs back to save Ellen and is told "Never come back for me again." Later he must choose whether or not to obey her wishes. Written by
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One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929-49, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its initial television broadcast took place in Omaha 9 January 1959 on KETV (Channel 7), and it soon became a local television favorite as it aired in Seattle 21 February 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), in Asheville 23 March 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), in Phoenix 17 April 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Milwaukee 26 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), and in both New York City and Minneapolis 6 June 1959 jointly on both WCBS (Channel 2) and WTCN (Channel 11); it was next telecast in Chicago 11 July 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Toledo 19 October on WTOL (Channel 11), in Philadelphia 24 October 1959 on WCAU (Channel 10), in St. Louis 26 October 1959 on KMOX (Channel 4), and in both Detroit and Grand Rapids 13 November 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2) and WOOD (Channel 8) . It was released on DVD 15 December 2015 as part of the Universal Vault Series. See more »
Alan Ladd and Geraldine Fitzgerald head up a team of spies in "O.S.S.," a 1946 film about the Office of Strategic Services formed just before the U.S. entered World War II. Ladd and Fitzgerald are part of a group, trained by Patric Knowles, who then parachute into France, perform acts of sabotage and also spy activities. One of the complications is that the Ladd character, John Martin, is a chauvinist who believes that "Elaine Duprez" (Fitzgerald) can't do what he considers a man's job effectively. She proves him wrong as she flirts with a German officer and gets to travel with him by train. The sculpture she is doing of him contains a bomb, which she passes out the window to John and he plants. She climbs out and the two run out of the tunnel. Eventually the two fall in love, but it's bittersweet as they watch the rest of their team fall prey to the Germans.
This is a pretty good film, not the most exciting thing you'll ever see, but it's heightened by the acting of Geraldine Fitzgerald and the presence of Alan Ladd. It's hard to think of Ladd as a great actor; he was very limited, but what he did, he did very well. Handsome, tough, with a no-nonsense line delivery, he was perfect starring in the noir films for which he is justifiably famous and, of course, Shane.
The attractive Patric Knowles does a good job, as does the rest of the cast. "O.S.S." is effective in that you care about the characters. There is some tension, though probably not enough, and nowhere near enough action for this kind of movie. If it were any other actors, it wouldn't be worth seeing; but given the cast, it's a decent watch.
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