Operation Secret (1952)

107-108 mins | Drama | 8 November 1952

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HISTORY

Working titles of the film were Top Secret and Danger Forward . According to reviews, Alvin Josephy and John Twist's screen story was "suggested by" the wartime exploits of Lt. Col. Peter Ortiz. German Signal Corps footage of the first Messerschmidt jet plane and the first V-1 pilotless bombs was used in the ... More Less

Working titles of the film were Top Secret and Danger Forward . According to reviews, Alvin Josephy and John Twist's screen story was "suggested by" the wartime exploits of Lt. Col. Peter Ortiz. German Signal Corps footage of the first Messerschmidt jet plane and the first V-1 pilotless bombs was used in the film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Oct 1952.
---
Daily Variety
9 Oct 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Oct 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 52
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 52
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 52
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 Oct 52
p. 1558.
New York Times
5 Nov 52
p. 35.
New York Times
6 Nov 52
p. 37.
Newsweek
17 Nov 1952.
---
Variety
6 May 1952.
---
Variety
15 Oct 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus
Orch
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Danger Forward
Top Secret
Release Date:
8 November 1952
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 5 November 1952
Production Date:
early March--late April 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 October 1952
Copyright Number:
LP2017
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
107-108
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15793
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Three men travel to Paris for a meeting of the French secret police: Marcel Brevoort, a businessman and former Maquis or French guerrilla fighter; Herr Bauer, an ex-Gestapo agent who was stationed in Schweinfurt during World War II; and Mr. Robbins of the British Foreign Office. Their agenda is to investigate the murder of the Maquis Armand Dubois, which occurred during the last days of World War II. Brevoort believes that he was killed by an American, Peter Forrester, who is probably now dead. After several people in the hearing room confirm that Forrester was a master of languages, implying that his war sympathies may be suspect, Brevoort tells the committee how he met Forrester while fighting the Nazis during the invasion of Paris: On 16 Jun 1940, Brevoort and the other fighters are ordered to surrender, but Forrester and Latrec, two Foreign Service soldiers fighting from the same abandoned building as Brevoort, refuse to stop shooting until Brevoort's captain forces them at gunpoint. After the group surrenders, they are sent either to work and prison camps or the firing squad. Back in the hearing room, Brevoort claims that he lost track of Forrester and Latrec after that. Believing that Latrec is long dead, Brevoort is surprised when the man, now a major in the Foreign Service, is brought into the hearing room and resumes the story of Forrester. Latrec recalls: After their surrender in 1940, he and Forrester are taken to a prison camp. They escape separately, but are later reunited at a Maquis hideout in Marseilles. Hearing that the Americans have joined the war, Forrester, an ex-Marine, leaves the hideout to sneak into England and rejoin. Back ... +


Three men travel to Paris for a meeting of the French secret police: Marcel Brevoort, a businessman and former Maquis or French guerrilla fighter; Herr Bauer, an ex-Gestapo agent who was stationed in Schweinfurt during World War II; and Mr. Robbins of the British Foreign Office. Their agenda is to investigate the murder of the Maquis Armand Dubois, which occurred during the last days of World War II. Brevoort believes that he was killed by an American, Peter Forrester, who is probably now dead. After several people in the hearing room confirm that Forrester was a master of languages, implying that his war sympathies may be suspect, Brevoort tells the committee how he met Forrester while fighting the Nazis during the invasion of Paris: On 16 Jun 1940, Brevoort and the other fighters are ordered to surrender, but Forrester and Latrec, two Foreign Service soldiers fighting from the same abandoned building as Brevoort, refuse to stop shooting until Brevoort's captain forces them at gunpoint. After the group surrenders, they are sent either to work and prison camps or the firing squad. Back in the hearing room, Brevoort claims that he lost track of Forrester and Latrec after that. Believing that Latrec is long dead, Brevoort is surprised when the man, now a major in the Foreign Service, is brought into the hearing room and resumes the story of Forrester. Latrec recalls: After their surrender in 1940, he and Forrester are taken to a prison camp. They escape separately, but are later reunited at a Maquis hideout in Marseilles. Hearing that the Americans have joined the war, Forrester, an ex-Marine, leaves the hideout to sneak into England and rejoin. Back in the hearing room, Mr. Robbins is able to continue the story of Forrester where Latrec leaves off: After his office finds Forrester in London in 1943, Robbins interrogates him. While harassing the multi-lingual Forrester about his unusual career of flunking college, joining the Marines and the Foreign Service and publishing pulp fiction novels, Robbins discreetly confirms that Forrester has excellent memory and observation skills. He then recommends Forrester to Maj. Dawson of the Marines for a special undercover operation, called "Danger Forward." After being briefed, Forrester and two others, Duncan and Zabreski, are flown into Germany and dropped near Schweinfurt with orders to observe the results of Allied bombing of the war factories there. Although Zabreski is killed during the parachute drop, Duncan and Forrester carry on. To make their report, they disrupt the radio broadcast of a German musical program at a specific time, a code which alerts the waiting Allies in England that the raid was a success. Meanwhile, the Nazis discover the parachutes and Zabreski's body and instigate a search for the Allied spies. Duncan is captured, but Forrester escapes with the help of a nun, Sister Maria. With Forrester disguised as a priest, they make their way to France, where Maria reveals that she is not a nun, but a member of the Maquis. At Forrester's rendezvous point, Latrec is waiting for him with new orders to connect with a Maquis called "The Torch," whom they later discover is Brevoort. Under Brevoort's command, the Maquis steal film footage of new secret Nazi aircraft weapons, during which Latrec gets separated and Brevoort orders that he be left behind. Back in the hearing room, Latrec says that he was captured and did not see them again. The hearing proceeds by calling in another witness, Maria, who continues the story: At the hideout, after the Maquis discover that the film contains blueprints of technologically advanced aircrafts, they prepare to deliver it to an Allied submarine. Revealing that he is a Communist, Brevoort takes the film for the Russians, but Armand, a fellow Communist, opposes him for going against the wishes of the group. Brevoort shoots Armand, then leaves with the film. As Maria and another Maquis proceed to the beach to signal the submarine, Forrester goes after Brevoort. Although Nazis interfere with their plans, Forrester gets the film from the injured Brevoort, and just before she is captured by the Nazis, Maria sees Forrester running toward the submarine in what seems to be a futile attempt to deliver the film. Back in the present, Maria accuses Brevoort of arranging for her imprisonment to continue long after the war ended, and others in the room condemn him for masterminding several assassinations for the Russians. Brevoort denies the charges and challenges them to show proof. In response, Forrester is brought into the room. Brevoort is informed that, with Forrester's statement, they have enough evidence to bring him to trial for the murder of Armand, and when he hangs, he will hang for all the others he has killed. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.