SECRET MISSION (director: Harold French; screenwriters: Basil Bartlett/Anatole de Grunwald/Terence Young; cinematographer: Bernard Knowles; editor: Edward B. Jarvis; music: Mischa Spoliansky; cast: Hugh Williams (Maj. Peter Garnett), Carla Lehmann (Michele de Carnot), Roland Culver (Capt. Red Gowan), Michael Wilding (Pvt. Nobby Clark), James Mason (Raoul de Carnot), Nancy Price (Violette, housekeeper), Karel Stepanek (Major Lang), General von Reichman (F.R. Wendhausen), Betty Warren (Lulu Clark), Percy Walsh (M. Fayolle), Anita Gombault (Estelle Fayolle), Nicholas Stuart (Captain Mackenzie), John Sale (Hauptmann Gruening), Yvonne Andre (Martine, money collector), David Page (Rene de Carnot, boy), Brefni O’Rorke (Village Priest), Stewart Granger(Sub-Lieutenant Jackson), Oscar Ebelsbacher (Provost Officer), Herbert Lom (Medical Officer); Runtime: 82; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Marcel Hellman; English Films; 1942-UK)
“Nothing memorable or special, but a watchable war drama.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Solid but dull World War II cloak-and-dagger thriller. Director Harold French (“Major Barbara”/”Quartet”/ “Encore”) and writers Basil Bartlett, Anatole de Grunwald and Terence Young try to keep it suspenseful, but the film flags at the end.
James Mason, a French soldier named Raoul, and three British Intelligence personnel, Maj. Peter Garnett (Hugh Williams), Capt. Red Gowan (Roland Culver) and Pvt. Nobby Clark (Michael Wilding), enter occupied France to gather military information on German strength. With the help of local Resistance fighters, the spies make a risky visit to Boche headquarters posing as champagne salesmen to get German troop strength info and then pass it onto the Brits so the Allied paratroopers can launch an attack on the Nazi position. Raoul’s confused sister Michele (Carla Lehmann) reluctantly helps after resisting and in the process falls in love with the stoic Peter.
Nothing memorable or special, but a watchable war drama.
REVIEWED ON 8/7/2009 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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