The Nazis imprison an Italian general who was planning to switch sides and turn over his army to the Allied side. Allied headquarters sends a small, somewhat misfit group of soldiers to ... See full summary »
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A man in a gleaming white suit comes to a small Southern town on the eve of integration. He calls himself a social reformer. But what he does is stir up trouble--trouble he soon finds he can't control.
The Nazis imprison an Italian general who was planning to switch sides and turn over his army to the Allied side. Allied headquarters sends a small, somewhat misfit group of soldiers to spring the general from prison and carry out his plans. Written by
Producer Roger Corman once described how this film came about: ". . . Bob Campbell [R. Wright Campbell], who had just done [The Young Racers (1963)] for me, had finished a script titled 'The Dubious Patriots'. Once again, the theme was one I liked very much: bad men sent to do good as a way to redeem themselves and win their freedom. In New York--on the way back from Racers--I gave Picker [David V. Picker] the script on a Friday and he said, 'We'll look at it. But we're backed up with scripts and it might be a few weeks before I can get to it.'" Picker rang Corman on Monday and the picture was given the go-ahead. Corman was surprised because his experience with the major studios was not always positive. Corman added: "It went that fast. Right place at the right time. The title was changed to "The Secret Invasion", which was believed to be more commercial. UA budgeted the production at $600,000, which was double my bigger Poe [Edgar Allan Poe] pictures. The film was shot in the summer of 1963." See more »
Aside from the military uniforms, all clothing worn by both the cast and the extras is current fashion, circa early 1960s. See more »
This film cut out much of the extra stuff that was in the Dirty Dozen. It also did not have a maggot character like Savalas played in the dozen. The film had a few unexpected turns and did not turn to the revolting conclusion of the Dirty Dozen. Secret Invasion had a better premise than Dozen.
In Dozen the mission was to kill as many German officers as possible at a castle which also would include their their wives and girlfriends. In Secret Invasion the mission was to rescue a popular Italian general from German captivity so that he could return to lead Italian forces. At that time many Italians wavered between German and Allied forces so a strong leader could turn the tide so Italians would join the Allied cause.
The film demands some understanding of the war to fully understand the plot. It also shows glimpses into the Yugoslavian underground which supported the U.S. There are plenty of convincing battle scenes and Corman does a fine job of directing with good acting. Great to see on cable instead of the usual more talky Second World War films.
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