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Operation Secret (1952)

Approved | | Drama, War | 8 November 1952 (USA)
While under attack by German forces, a French army unit discovers there is a traitor in their midst, feeding the Germans information.

Director:

Lewis Seiler

Writers:

Harold Medford, Peter Ortiz (story suggested by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Cornel Wilde ... Peter Forrester
Steve Cochran ... Marcel Brevoort
Phyllis Thaxter ... Maria Corbet
Karl Malden ... Maj. Latrec
Paul Picerni ... Capt. Armand Dupree
Lester Matthews ... Robbins
Dan O'Herlihy ... Mike Duncan
Jay Novello ... Herr Bauer
Wilton Graff ... French Official
Dan Riss ... German Sergeant
Harlan Warde ... Maj. Dawson
Kenneth Patterson Kenneth Patterson ... General
William F. Leicester William F. Leicester ... Capt. Hughes (as William Leicester)
Gayle Kellogg Gayle Kellogg ... Corporal
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Storyline

A few years after the end of WW2 a special French military commission is convened to summon witnesses who could shed light on an incident that took place during the war.The witnesses are all French except one who is American. The incident dates back to the French surrender to the Germans in 1940.One group of mostly French Foreign Legion soldiers refused to surrender to the Germans and being holed-up in a farm house continued to offer resistance to the Germans.Their officer,Capt. Armand Dupree,suggested surrender but his men called him a coward until they were ordered to surrender.After the Armistice some of them,prisoners of war in German POW camps,escaped and joined various resistance groups.The American,Peter Forrester,joins the US Army and is recruited by US Intelligence for his language skills and for the fact he had lived in Germany and France before the war.When he accepts a special mission behind enemy lines,in occupied France,Operation Secret begins. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A SECRET HUNT FOR THE MAN OF MYSTERY FOUR NATIONS HAD TO FIND! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Danger Forward See more »

Filming Locations:

USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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User Reviews

 
Facing French Justice
23 February 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Cornel Wilde stars in this World War II drama Operation Secret in which most of the film is done in flashback by witnesses at a post war French tribunal. The object of the inquiry is to determine who killed Maquis resistance leader Paul Picerni.

This film was about the only Marine who may have served in the European Theater of World War II. Wilde is quite the colorful character and what a background he has. He does a hitch in the Marine Corps during peacetime and then enlists in the French Foreign Legion where he and fellow Legionaire Karl Malden just simply refuse to surrender until wounded and ordered to by Captain Steve Cochran. After a stint in a Prison Camp he's repatriated back to France whereupon he flees to Great Britain and tries to enlist in the Marines again. The Marines take him, but rather than send him to the Pacific, Wilde is given spy training and sent back to France where he eventually hooks up with the Maquis.

That the Maquis had a lot of Communists in it is a given fact. But remember this was the beginning of the Cold War so some anti-Communism gets worked into the plot. Many members of the Resistance do not want to give plans for the new Nazi jet airplanes to the Americans and British. That sets up the conflict as Wilde has to deal with both Germans and people in the Maquis who want to do him in.

To say the least I found the whole premise quite bizarre. But I've always liked Cornel Wilde on the screen and this is far from the worst film he ever did. In fact his portrayal of a spy who has to think fast on his feet is quite good.

Tstifying at the tribunal are Malden, Cochran, Jay Novello playing a former Gestapo man, and an ersatz nun played by Phyllis Thaxter. Eventually the murder of Picerni is solved and the perpetrator faces French justice.

Why they had to invent such a wild (no pun intended)background for Wilde is beyond me. If they had just made him a Frenchman in the first place it would have made more sense. Not like Wilde never did a French accent effectively on the screen.


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