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Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1949)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 21 February 1950 (USA)
A group of agents in the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the C.I.A.) are sent to France, during World War II, to knock out the French railroad system and, in accomplishing ... See full summary »

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writers:

Robert Thoeren (screenplay), Martha Albrand (based on the novel by)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Ladd ... Captain Webster Carey
Wanda Hendrix ... Baronessa Giulia de Greffi
Francis Lederer ... Baron Rocco de Greffi
Joseph Calleia ... Dr. Lunati
Celia Lovsky ... Countess Francesca de Cresci
Richard Avonde ... Count Carlo de Cresci
Frank Puglia ... Luigi
Luis Alberni ... Sandro
Angela Clarke ... Serafina
Roland Winters ... Manfredo Acuto
Paul Lees Paul Lees ... Frank
Jane Nigh ... Nancy
Russ Tamblyn ... Pietro (as Rusty Tamblyn)
Virginia Farmer ... Angelina
David Leonard ... Blind Musician
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Storyline

A group of agents in the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the C.I.A.) are sent to France, during World War II, to knock out the French railroad system and, in accomplishing this mission, most of them will be killed because of an inside betrayal. After the war, one of the agents returns to find the traitor. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 February 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O.S.S. See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song, "Mona Lisa", is the first song from a non-musical picture to win Oscar for Best Song. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Oscars (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Mona Lisa
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
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User Reviews

 
Beautifully filmed, with Italian post-war issues looming, and Ladd at his best
30 October 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950)

A vastly underrated movie. Not that this is "Casablanca" although there are traces of the same idea, if deliberately backward. A romance is derailed by war, a solitary American exudes indifference, foreign intrigues brew, and the Nazis roam at night causing trouble.

The setting is Italy, at first during the war, and then three years later. The man, Alan Ladd (at his best, I think), is an OSS officer and when he returns, as a civilian, you know he has an agenda and a dangerous background. And a girl he once loved who is dead.

Or so it goes. The plot is reasonable and actually fascinating. It doesn't unfold with elegance, exactly (you can see a lot of the gist coming), but it is all told beautifully and quickly. The photography is really first rate, notable on its own terms once you look, all by John F. Seitz, one of the era's greats. Between him and Ladd, and some really wonderful sets and convincing back projections, the whole experience is a thrill to inhabit, to feel. And things do happen, with caricatures that make enough sense to work--the blind musician, the rich and mysterious husband, the doctor with suspicious knowledge of everything (he calls Ladd "baby" in a nice American colloquialism).

What the movie lacks most of all is a title. I can't believe it hasn't at least been released again with something better, something that hints at the Italian post-war angst that is the meat of the movie. Because this is what makes the murderous intrigues more than just cinematic fillips. In fact, this is another parallel to "Casablanca" (that was no joke above): the movie has a hidden purpose, to help the American public reconcile with the most conspicuous of German Allies, the Italians. It is layered, interesting, and dramatic. It lurches every now and then, and I suppose Ladd, as good as he is, is no Bogart, and certainly his love interest, played by Wanda Hendrix, is no Ingrid Bergman (Hendrix is a weak link all through, actually, more girl next door than the movie needs).

Give this a whirl, and expect something quite a bit more than others, and the title, have suggested.


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