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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
This was Stewart Granger's first low-budget independent film after years of major starring roles, and he had concerns about allowing his character to be less than central to the story. During the filming on the Adriatic Sea, the production crew had already created the smoke for the scene when Granger told Roger Corman that he wouldn't do the scene as written because Edd Byrnes had too much dialogue and Granger's character was of lesser importance. Corman quickly wrote some new dialogue for Granger to satisfy his concerns (though he has declined to state how much of that dialogue made it into the finished film), and filming proceeded before the smoke dissipated. 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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