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Orders to Kill (1958)

American agent faces an engrossing moral dilemma when he is parachuted into France to eliminate a suspected traitor in the French Resistance.

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(screenplay), (original story) (as Donald C. Downes) | 1 more credit »
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Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Major MacMahon
Paul Massie ...
Gene Summers
...
Mrs. Summers
...
Naval Commander
Leslie French ...
Marcel Lafitte
Irene Worth ...
Léonie
John Crawford ...
Maj. Kimball
...
Interrogator
Nicholas Phipps ...
Lecturer Lieutenant
Sandra Dorne ...
Blonde with German officer
Jacques B. Brunius ...
Cmndt. Morand (as Jacques Brunius)
Robert Henderson ...
Col. Snyder
Miki Iveria ...
Louise
Lillie Bea Gifford ...
Mauricette (as Lillabea Gifford)
Anne Blake ...
Mme. Lafitte
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Storyline

American agent faces an engrossing moral dilemma when he is parachuted into France to eliminate a suspected traitor in the French Resistance.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama | War

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Release Date:

4 July 1958 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Befehl zum töten  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.75: 1
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Goofs

The psychiatrist eye glass frames have no lenses in them. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pomp and Circumstance
19 August 2012 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

During World War II, American-born bomber pilot Paul Massie (as Gene Summers) is sent from Boston to England, then German-occupied Paris. His mission is to assassinate a man secretly spying for the Nazis. In the event he is captured, Mr. Massie is trained in the art of interrogation and undercover work, by Eddie Albert (as Major "Mac" McMahon) and James Robertson Justice. His training complete, Massie is given the French identity "Jean Doumier" and arrives in Paris via parachute...

When Massie meets his target, small-time lawyer Leslie French (as Marcel Lafitte), he has second thoughts. The suspected Nazi informant turns out to be a friendly family guy who loves cats. Massie thinks Mr. French may be innocent and shares his reservations with French resistance fighter Irene Worth (as Leonie). She reminds Massie of his "Orders to Kill"...

Some of the build-up is tedious, but this turns out to be an intelligent drama about the morality of war...

Note that the American stars' billing is exaggerated; top-billed Eddie Albert is a supporting actor to Massie, who is the star of the film. Moreover, Lillian Gish (as Mrs. Summers) appears in only two scenes. It would have been nice to see Ms. Gish become involved during the latter portions, inquiring about and/or visiting her son; this could have tied in with the parts of the opening which appear to signal flashbacks. The adaptation by Paul Dehn, direction by Anthony Asquith, and cast are excellent.

******* Orders to Kill (7/25/58) Anthony Asquith ~ Paul Massie, Eddie Albert, Irene Worth, Lillian Gish


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