Gail Loveless, a spy known as Operator 13 working for the Union and Federal cause during the Civil War, posing as a Confederate woman named Anne Claybourne, meets and falls in love with Confederate Captain Jack Galliard. Dusguised as an octoroom maid at a Confedarate military ball, she learns and relays secrets to the Union forces that are devastating to the Rebel cause. Assigned to the case to track down and kill the spy maid, Galliard learns she is also the woman he loves, but proceeds with his assignment. He captures her but is in danger of being captured himself as Federal forces are approaching. Gail/Anne saves him and they part to wait until peace comes to resume their romance. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Early in the film, the bugler is ordered to sound "Officers Call". He does so, and a distant bugler in the camp repeats the call. However, the second call is sounded in a much higher key. In reality, both bugles would play in the same key. See more »
You can get the plot details somewhere else, bub. Marion Davies plays the part of Gail Loveless, who becomes a Union spy, and once in Confederate territory disguises herself as a black slave. She goes undercover as a slave, performing the services of a maid, doing laundry. She somehow passes for a biracial woman. To disguise herself she wears a lightly toned blackface. She looks like a woman with a spray tan. Her blackface makeup never wears off—Never! —Not when she washes clothes, not when she is splashed by water as a horse stomps in a creek, not when tears roll down her cheeks. The only thing worse than Marion Davies's blackface is her black-voice. It makes you cringe. I had a strong urge to turn the TV off, but I watched on.
There are many black actors in the film and the Mills Brothers perform the best musical acts, although, the songs they sing have racist lyrics. During Jungle Fever, the black actors, who portray the black folks in the town, look saucer-eyed, tranced and spooked, as they dance and jive to the music—it will make you queasy. And like many movies of that time, the black characters are happy and content (what could be wrong?), laughing and smiling, whether they are singing, dancing, cooking, serving, doing laundry, or helping a bride with her wedding dress. Don't they know there's a war on? The North won the Civil War and Hollywood made movies like Operator 13, which makes you wonder about what kinds of movies they'd have made if the South had won.
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