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 ...
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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 »
At c.25 minutes there is a short close-up of the baby breast-feeding. However the mother's shirt is a different colour and design from the other shots. See more »
Although producer/director Roger Corman is known for his "economical" pictures, this World War II actioner belies its $600,000 budget (small by conventional Hollywood standards, but an epic for Corman) and is a well-acted, tightly directed, enjoyable not-quite-so-little picture. The story of a group of misfit Allied soldiers sent to rescue an important Italian general who has been imprisoned by the Nazis, Corman makes good use of the Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, locations and a cast consisting of much better actors then he usually got, especially Mickey Rooney, Stewart Granger and Henry Silva (in an outstanding performance as a taciturn, deadly killer who isn't quite as cold-blooded as he seems). Even Edd Byrnes is far less annoying than usual, and turns in a good job. The action scenes are very well handled, the picture looks much more expensive than its budget would indicate, and it actually garnered some of the best reviews of Corman's career up to that time, and deservedly so. It's a good one (and compares favorably to "The Dirty Dozen," which it preceded). Check it out.
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