Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama
When spy chief Bob Sharkey finds out one of his agents-in-training is actually a Nazi double agent, his strategic decision not to arrest him results in tragedy.
James Cagney's character of Robert Emmett 'Bob' Sharkey was originally based on the World War II director of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), William Donovan (i.e. Major General William Joseph Donovan, USA, GCSS, KBE) as well as the spy agency being ... ...
Robert Emmett 'Bob' Sharkey:
If he isn't sold and should in any way suspect that you're on a double mission, if he does make his break and tries to follow you, you're going to shoot him.
Jeff Lassiter: Shoot him?
Jeff Lassiter: Tha-That's rough! Tha...
Robert Emmett 'Bob' Sharkey: That's war... and that's your mission!
Jeff Lassiter: Yeah.
Robert Emmett 'Bob' Sharkey: O'Connell ...
In this film, a French engineer called Duclois is a Nazi collaborator on the V2 rocket programme, and is described as being responsible for the design and construction of the 'main assembly and supply depot' in northern France, whom '077' Agent Sharkey must kidnap for urgent interrogation, so that intelligence concerning this dangerous long-range super-weapon can save the imminent Allied invasion of Europe. There were indeed major V2 launch bunkers in the 'Pas de Calais' and elsewhere in northern France, and they were certainly rendered inoperable by Allied military actions which were based upon good intelligence (hence the Germans' development thereafter of highly manoeuvrable truck-mounted launchers). Nevertheless, most of the film's military scenario for the V2 programme is really no more than a convenient dramatic fiction: There was actually no such person as the character 'Duclois.' It was Albert Speer, architect, and at this period also Hitler's Minister for Armaments and War Production, who took up a Colonel Dornberger's ideas for a massive hardened 'Blockhaus' launch site; also, a certain Gerhard Degenkolb was brought in later to help in organizing the mass-production of the rockets (Degenkolb was the former director of the 'Demag Engineering Works' and the man responsible for streamlining production in Germany's locomotive industry). The V2 rocket itself was of course actually developed by Wernher Von Braun and his own team. However, at the time of the film's production Von Braun had begun working for the US military, along with many other Nazi scientists - all having been spirited back to the United States, from under the noses of the Soviets, by the top-secret 'Operation Paperclip' - in order to develop ICBMs for the US, and it would have been political dynamite to have acknowledged this publicly at a time when incipient Cold War tensions were already being felt.
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.
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