Alan Ladd and Geraldine Fitzgerald head up a team of spies in "O.S.S.," a 1946 film about the Office of Strategic Services formed just before the U.S. entered World War II. Ladd and Fitzgerald are part of a group, trained by Patric Knowles, who then parachute into France, perform acts of sabotage and also spy activities. One of the complications is that the Ladd character, John Martin, is a chauvinist who believes that "Elaine Duprez" (Fitzgerald) can't do what he considers a man's job effectively. She proves him wrong as she flirts with a German officer and gets to travel with him by train. The sculpture she is doing of him contains a bomb, which she passes out the window to John and he plants. She climbs out and the two run out of the tunnel. Eventually the two fall in love, but it's bittersweet as they watch the rest of their team fall prey to the Germans.
This is a pretty good film, not the most exciting thing you'll ever see, but it's heightened by the acting of Geraldine Fitzgerald and the presence of Alan Ladd. It's hard to think of Ladd as a great actor; he was very limited, but what he did, he did very well. Handsome, tough, with a no-nonsense line delivery, he was perfect starring in the noir films for which he is justifiably famous and, of course, Shane.
The attractive Patric Knowles does a good job, as does the rest of the cast. "O.S.S." is effective in that you care about the characters. There is some tension, though probably not enough, and nowhere near enough action for this kind of movie. If it were any other actors, it wouldn't be worth seeing; but given the cast, it's a decent watch.
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