Operation Dames (1959)

74 mins | Drama | March 1959

Writer:

Ed Lakso

Producer:

Stanley Kallis

Cinematographer:

Edward R. Martin

Production Designer:

Marvyn Harbert

Production Company:

Camera Eye Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

In the film, and in the closing credits, Alyce Allyn's character is listed as "Stella," but several reviews and the cutting continuity found in the copyright files list her as "Marge." Although Cindy Girard is listed above Chuck Van Haren in the opening credits, she is listed below him in the closing credits. Operation Dames marked the American feature film debut of actor Byron Morrow ... More Less

In the film, and in the closing credits, Alyce Allyn's character is listed as "Stella," but several reviews and the cutting continuity found in the copyright files list her as "Marge." Although Cindy Girard is listed above Chuck Van Haren in the opening credits, she is listed below him in the closing credits. Operation Dames marked the American feature film debut of actor Byron Morrow (1920--2006). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Mar 1959.
---
Daily Variety
26 Feb 59
p. 3.
Filmfacts
1959
pp. 78-79.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 59
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
28 Mar 59
p. 205.
Variety
4 Mar 59
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art asst
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set const
MUSIC
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd ed
Sd mixer
Boom man
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Unit mgr
Culinary dir
Prod secy
Spec crew
Spec crew
Spec crew
Tech dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Regular Man," words and music by Ed Lakso.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1959
Copyright Claimant:
Del Mar Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 January 1959
Copyright Number:
LP13730
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
74
Length(in feet):
6,647
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19201
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1950 Korea, a group of American U.S.O. entertainers, including attractive singer Lorry Evering, husband-and-wife comedians Benny and Stella Sullivan, singer-dancer sisters Roberta and Marsha, comic Hal Wilson and their assistant George, depart an American military camp and head toward Pong-ni, unaware that the city has fallen to the North Korean Communist forces. Just after the entertainers leave, however, camp commander Col. Johns learns that the North Koreans have cut off the road to the city. Unable to raise the U.S.O. truck, Johns orders the camp to move out, and plans to inform headquarters about the performers’ plight. Shortly afterward, a North Korean squad spots the U.S.O. vehicle and stops it with a grenade. The liaison officer is killed immediately, but the South Korean driver holds off the attackers, despite being seriously wounded. The driver gives the performers his compass and tells them to get off the road and head south. The civilians are paralyzed with shock until Benny firmly orders them to make a stretcher for the driver and follow his instructions. Later that afternoon, the exhausted performers are discovered by an American squad led by Sgt. Jeff Valido, who is outraged at the group’s careless, loud behavior so near the enemy. Upon finding that the driver is dead, Jeff announces he and his men will take responsibility for getting the civilians to safety, then reluctantly agrees to let them rest for an hour. The group is soon roused, however, by Marsha screaming in fear of a snake. Certain the noise has attracted the attention of North Korean scouts, Jeff orders the group to move out and they ... +


In 1950 Korea, a group of American U.S.O. entertainers, including attractive singer Lorry Evering, husband-and-wife comedians Benny and Stella Sullivan, singer-dancer sisters Roberta and Marsha, comic Hal Wilson and their assistant George, depart an American military camp and head toward Pong-ni, unaware that the city has fallen to the North Korean Communist forces. Just after the entertainers leave, however, camp commander Col. Johns learns that the North Koreans have cut off the road to the city. Unable to raise the U.S.O. truck, Johns orders the camp to move out, and plans to inform headquarters about the performers’ plight. Shortly afterward, a North Korean squad spots the U.S.O. vehicle and stops it with a grenade. The liaison officer is killed immediately, but the South Korean driver holds off the attackers, despite being seriously wounded. The driver gives the performers his compass and tells them to get off the road and head south. The civilians are paralyzed with shock until Benny firmly orders them to make a stretcher for the driver and follow his instructions. Later that afternoon, the exhausted performers are discovered by an American squad led by Sgt. Jeff Valido, who is outraged at the group’s careless, loud behavior so near the enemy. Upon finding that the driver is dead, Jeff announces he and his men will take responsibility for getting the civilians to safety, then reluctantly agrees to let them rest for an hour. The group is soon roused, however, by Marsha screaming in fear of a snake. Certain the noise has attracted the attention of North Korean scouts, Jeff orders the group to move out and they walk on until morning. During a rest, an exhausted Benny soothes Stella, who frets about their dangerous situation. After the sound of heavy gunfire startles the group, a wounded G.I. guard stumbles toward Jeff to report that the two other guards have been killed by a North Korean patrol in a gun truck. Before dying, the soldier reveals that Stella, inexplicably out walking, was also killed in the attack. Terrified by the news, the performers do not notice when a stunned Benny grabs a bag of grenades and heads over the hill. Benny pretends to surrender to the North Koreans, then detonates the grenades, demolishing the Korean squad. Although shocked by Benny’s action and furious about Stella’s irresponsible behavior, Jeff insists that the others remain with the soldiers at all costs. Soon after, Lorry seeks Jeff out while he is on guard and admits that she is lonely and frightened. Although angered, Jeff is attracted to the pretty singer and after sharing a romantic moment, relates a bit of his difficult past and admits his affinity for the danger of army life. Lorry wonders if he could find happiness in civilian life, but Jeff remains doubtful. At daybreak, Pvt. Billy Peters, who has jealously observed the romantic interlude between the sergeant and Lorry, confronts Jeff about his recklessness. Their quarrel is interrupted by a piercing scream from Lorry, who has been attacked by a North Korean scout. The soldiers rescue Lorry, who has suffered a large gash across her cheek. In a fury, a G.I. named Tony kills the scout. When Lorry worries that she will be scarred by the attack, the performers comfort her, assuring her that the wound will not mar her beauty. Criticizing them for lying, Jeff gives Lorry a mirror. The group moves on, closing in on the North Korean lines, which they must cross. Coming to a small house, Jeff declares they will remain there until nightfall when they can attempt to cross the enemy line. When the Americans find the house has been commandeered by North Koreans soldiers, a fierce gun battle ensues. After overpowering the enemy, the Americans discover a young Korean boy inside the house with his dead mother. Tony consoles a nervous Roberta while a British private aligned with the squad, Dinny, helps George calm Marsha. As the group waits for night, Lorry privately tells Jeff her wound has made her reconsider her values and again suggests that he consider something other than the constant risk of army life. After the moon rises, Jeff announces they must depart, but decides to leave the young boy behind as the journey ahead is too dangerous. Jeff then leads the group over the last two miles of rough terrain leading up to enemy lines. Taking refuge behind a small hill from the continual bombardment, Jeff tells the soldiers that he will make the first sortie to reach the American position and report their presence. If the group does not receive a signal after a set time, each soldier is to follow and make the attempt. Although wounded, Jeff succeeds in reaching the Americans, who provide covering fire to allow the remaining soldiers and civilians to cross the enemy lines safely. When Lorry bids farewell to Jeff, who is being taken to a medical camp, he promises to consider her suggestion to embark upon another, more peaceful life. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.