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Operation Secret (1952) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
8 November 1952 (USA) See more »
While under attack by German forces, a French army unit discovers there is a traitor in their midst, feeding the Germans information. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Best spy-underground mystery movie about WWII See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order)

Cornel Wilde ... Peter Forrester

Steve Cochran ... Marcel Brevoort

Phyllis Thaxter ... Maria Corbet

Karl Malden ... Maj. Latrec

Paul Picerni ... Capt. Armand Dupree

Lester Matthews ... Robbins

Dan O'Herlihy ... Mike Duncan

Jay Novello ... Herr Bauer

Wilton Graff ... French Official
Dan Riss ... German Sergeant
Harlan Warde ... Maj. Dawson
Kenneth Patterson ... General
William F. Leicester ... Capt. Hughes (as William Leicester)
Gayle Kellogg ... Corporal
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Arnie ... Maquis (uncredited)
Baynes Barron ... Henri (uncredited)

Gregg Barton ... Sentry (uncredited)
John Beattie ... Radio Operator (uncredited)

Philip Carey ... Captain Johnson / Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
George Dee ... Maquis (uncredited)
Claude Dunkin ... Rene (uncredited)

Anthony Eisley ... Maquis (uncredited)
Joe Espitallier ... Maquis (uncredited)

Franklyn Farnum ... Slide Projectionist (uncredited)
Elizabeth Flournoy ... Woman Marine (uncredited)
Charles Flynn ... German Civil Officer (uncredited)
Eddie Foster ... Claude (uncredited)

Don C. Harvey ... Nazi Guard (uncredited)
Len Hendry ... Gestapo Officer (uncredited)
Thomas Browne Henry ... Brother Francis, a Monk (uncredited)

Frank Jaquet ... Bartender (uncredited)

Roy Jenson ... Michel (uncredited)
Gary Kettler ... German NCO (uncredited)
Ted Lawrence ... Didot (uncredited)
John Logan ... German Soldier (uncredited)
Jack Lomas ... Train Engineer (uncredited)
Dayton Lummis ... French Radio Broadcaster (voice) (uncredited)

George Magrill ... Train Brakeman (uncredited)
John Marshall ... Driver (uncredited)
Peter Michael ... Legionnaire (uncredited)

Harold Miller ... Airplane Passenger (uncredited)
Craig Moreland ... British Military Policeman (uncredited)
John Nelson ... Crewman (uncredited)

John Pickard ... Soldier (uncredited)
Montgomery Pittman ... Maquis (uncredited)
Rudy Rama ... Maquis (uncredited)
Henry Rowland ... Fritz - German Military Policeman (uncredited)
Robert 'Buddy' Shaw ... (uncredited)
Bill Slack ... Pvt. Korst (uncredited)
Paula Sowl ... Hostess (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... Train Fireman (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Officer at Meeting (uncredited)
Wayne Taylor ... Etienne (uncredited)
Carlo Tricoli ... Old Peasant (uncredited)
Larry Winter ... Sentry (uncredited)
Frances Zucco ... Elsa (uncredited)

Directed by
Lewis Seiler 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Harold Medford 
James R. Webb 

Produced by
Henry Blanke .... producer
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
Cinematography by
Ted D. McCord 
Film Editing by
Clarence Kolster 
Art Direction by
Leo K. Kuter 
Set Decoration by
William L. Kuehl 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound
Bob Herron .... stunt double: Cornel Wilde
Camera and Electrical Department
Bert Six .... still photographer
Music Department
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator
Ray Heindorf .... musical director
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator
Other crew
Alvin M. Josephy .... story developer
Peter Pohlenz .... technical advisor
John Twist .... story developer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
108 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Filming Locations:

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Best spy-underground mystery movie about WWII, 30 September 2012
Author: SimonJack from United States

There have been some outstanding movies about underground forces in Europe during WWII. There have been some excellent movies about espionage during WWII. And, there have been a number of very good movies that combine espionage and underground efforts. "Operation Secret" is far and away the very best of the latter, with a lot of intrigue and mystery tossed in. The film combines spy efforts with underground operations, and then adds some combat scenes and aerial bombing footage along with the mystery and intrigue. It involves a court inquiry after the war, and a story told in flashbacks from various characters.

Just as with "Where Eagles Dare," this film story is fictitious, but is about real subjects of the war. In the former, it was the efforts to knock out Norwegian plants before the Nazis could use them to produce heavy water for use in German nuclear arms plans. In "Operation Secret," the real subjects were Germany's V-2 rockets and jet aircraft.

This film excels in a number of areas. The plot and script are first- rate, and the acting is first-rate by the whole cast. The direction is excellent, as are the cinematography and the scenes. This may be one of Cornel Wilde's best performances, and Karl Malden gives a first-rate performance. To top it all off, the movie has some actual German footage of the V-2 rocket firings, and the actual footage of the earliest German jet aircraft tests. I recall seeing such tests only once before; so this is very rare among WWII movies.

I'm surprised that so few have seen this movie by this late date. I don't recall ever having seen it before, but I've added it to my film library. Now that it's on DVD, more folks should want to buy it. I think it's a "must" for any serious war film library. If you're not a collector, watch for its showing on TV. I highly recommend this excellent, interesting, intriguing and entertaining film. For a bit of trivia, in an early scene of a flight from New York to Paris, presumably around the time the film was made, 1952, the pilot announces over the plane's PA system that the flight will take "about 13 hours." That was the speed of the four-engine prop planes before the advent of commercial jet service.

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