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A soldier is sent to France to kill a Nazi sympathizer
Paul Massie, Eddie Albert, Leslie French, and Irene Worth star in "Orders to Kill," a 1958 film produced and directed by Anthony Asquith.
Done in a low-key, realistic way, the story concerns a young American soldier, Gene Summers (Massie) who is chosen to go to France to kill an attorney who was a Resistance member, Lafitte (French) but has become a traitor. For Summers, it's an exciting assignment, and he relishes learning his new identity and being taught to kill either with his bare hands or by knife. One of the men in charge of his training, Major MacMahon (Albert) is afraid the ramifications of the job aren't real enough for him, but off he goes. His contact in France is Leonie (Irene Worth).
All goes well until Summers actually meets LaFitte, who saves him from a Nazi roundup by hiding him in his office. When he sees that Lafitte seems like a gentle soul, he can't kill him. Then he meets LaFitte's daughter and wife. He appeals to Leonie -- maybe this man is innocent, maybe a further investigation is warranted. Leonie is a hard-nose and insists that he carry out his orders.
Talky and slow-moving through a good deal of the film, it changes suddenly and becomes very suspenseful and exciting. Everyone underplays, making them somehow more realistic in their war-torn surroundings.
Everyone is very good, but Irene Worth, a fantastic actress, Leslie French, and Eddie Albert are standouts. The workhorse role is Massie's, and he is very good in a role that required him to be extremely natural and even throughout.
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