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; Mia Massini's hair styles are strictly 1964. See more »
Maj. Richard Mace:
Pretty clumsy and rather childish. Now, you've had your fun, but if this happens in action, God Help you!
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Stewart Granger, Raf Vallone, Mickey Rooney, William Campbell,Edd Byrnes, and Henry Silva are part of "The Secret Invasion," directed by Roger Corman. Vallone, Rooney, Campbell and Silva are prisoners who are brought in as part of a mission to free an Italian general, who was about to turn on the Nazis and turn his army over to the allies and is now being held by the Nazis. Granger, as Major Mace, is put in charge of them. If they don't die, they will win their amnesty.
The levels of commitment vary among the men. The organizer, Rocca (Vallone) is a brilliant man who is dedicated to the mission, while Simon Fell (Byrnes), a forger, is not and tries to escape. Mickey Rooney plays the munitions expert, a cheerful Irishman, and Henry Silva plays an assassin, Durrell, who, although quiet, has feelings that run very deep. Saval (Campbell) doesn't trust him.
While this is a derivative movie, it's filled with action, some good characters, sadness, and violence. Corman paces it well. On a side note, because I know German, the German spoken was perfect and, unlike Das Boot, easy to understand.
Corman made this on a low budget, and the actors' performances vary as a result of not being able to fill this movie with an all-star cast. Edd Byrnes leaves a lot to be desired. I remember William Campbell from my childhood in a TV series called "Canonball" - actually, his big claim to fame is that he was married to JFK-Sam Giancana girlfriend Judith Exner. Granger, Vallone, Rooney and Silva are excellent as are the members of the German cast.
Good drama, good war story.
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