Operation Secret

  • 1952
  • Movie
  • NR
  • War

Wilde stars as an American officer and former French Foreign Legionnaire who assists the French underground in WW II. Years after the war's end, however, he is accused of murdering Picerni, a Resistance leader. This reckless act is contradictory to Wilde's heroic actions during the war, which are seen in flashback. Sent on a dangerous mission behind German...read more

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Wilde stars as an American officer and former French Foreign Legionnaire who assists the French underground in WW II. Years after the war's end, however, he is accused of murdering Picerni, a Resistance leader. This reckless act is contradictory to Wilde's heroic actions during the war,

which are seen in flashback. Sent on a dangerous mission behind German lines, Wilde is to report on the bomb damage done to the ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt. Not only does he accomplish this assignment, but he also captures some valuable Nazi films (actual German Signal Corps footage) of

the first Messerschmidt jet plane and V-1 pilotless bomb. On his return flight, however, Wilde is downed and reported dead. Years later, the French secret police investigate the murder of Picerni and summon a number of witnesses to testify. The facts are revealed piecemeal by each witness:

Cochran, who was secretly working as a communist agent; Malden, a friend of Wilde; Novello, a onetime Gestapo agent; Matthews, a representative of the British Foreign Office; and Thaxter, a former underground worker and onetime love interest of Wilde. Cochran delivers the most damning testimony,

but before a verdict is reached, Wilde makes a surprise entrance into the courtroom. He clears himself of any wrongdoing and fingers the guilty Cochran. Although based on the actual exploits of Lieutenant Colonel Peter Ortiz, OPERATION SECRET fails to arouse any strong emotions. Instead of being

drawn into what should be a fascinating and heroic tale, the audience is distanced by the many flashbacks. Fortunately, the wartime footage and the adventures of the underground are adroitly directed. The acting is average, except for a stirring performance from Malden, who plays a humorous,

granite-hard soldier with a strong affection for alcohol.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Wilde stars as an American officer and former French Foreign Legionnaire who assists the French underground in WW II. Years after the war's end, however, he is accused of murdering Picerni, a Resistance leader. This reckless act is contradictory to Wilde's… (more)

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