Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together.
Alcoholic newspaperman Lew Marsh hits bottom, loses his job and is rehabilitated by Charley Dolan. After six years on the wagon he gets his job back and devotes himself to other recovering ... See full summary »
Documentary-style prologue follows training of O.S.S. agents for WWII work behind enemy lines. One of the group is a German "mole;" leaders Gibson and Sharkey are aware of this and scheme to feed him false info about the invasion of Europe, while the real agents go to France to find a secret V-2 rocket depot. But the German spy outsmarts them and rejoins his people knowing too much; Bob Sharkey takes the risk of going in after him.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Prologue, shown printed in a book: No single story could ever pay full tribute to the accomplishments of the U.S. Army Intelligence in World War II. Working secretly behind enemy lines, in close cooperation with our Allies, its brilliant work was an acknowledged factor in the final victory. The page turns to reveal: In order to obtain the maximum of realism and authenticity, all the exterior and interior settings in this Motion Picture were photographed in the field - - and, whenever possible, at the actual locations. See more »
The second half is fabulous WWII spy drama, so hang in there!
13 Rue Madeleine (1947)
This movie starts slowly and gets gradually better as it goes, until a gripping final half hour and a shocking, dramatic ending. So it's worth the ride, and worth seeing James Cagney who is at the top of his game here (he is about to make his masterpiece, White Heat, after 15 years of gangster portrayals.) Of course here his tough guy persona is put to use for the good of us all, a patriot training a group of high level war time spies. The Nazis are brutal, and World War II is unrelenting, so even this highly skilled people die. It's a reminder how tragic the war was. It is made to be exciting and even fascinating, but most of all dangerous.
Though purely fiction, for legal reasons (the pre-CIA OSS spy organization didn't want too much revealed in the movie), the filming is meant to seem realistic in a documentary way, and it begins with an authoritative voice-over and what looks like some vintage footage. This "information" is given for too long a time, and if you are not a war expert, or even know what WWII was all about, this will be too gripping. But eventually the leads all start to take on real roles, and they move from their training in the U.S. (it was filmed in Quebec City, actually), to behind enemy lines. This is then really great stuff.
Director Henry Hathaway followed this same format (even with the title) in the 1945 The House on 92nd Street and it has some of the same flaws, and the same kind of superb second half. And a year later he did a third in the same mode, Call Northside 777. It was a successful formula for a public learning about its own federal level spy and police forces, Hathaway was a really good director, and we all wish he had taken these films in the direction of Kiss of Death, which is a gem, but he didn't, probably because of producers with ideas of their own, and so we have this trio of offbeat films with only parts that are amazing. Which isn't so bad.
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