27 January 2004 | cariart
Double Agent Drama Set in World War II...
In 1962, Paramount Pictures released THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR, based on the true story of Eric Ericson (William Holden), a Swedish industrialist, who, while 'working' for the Nazis, was actually an allied spy. While branded a 'collaborator' by his friends, he provided vital information, at great risk to his life.
Four years later, as the worldwide 'James Bond' craze was beginning to wind down, 20th Century Fox decided the film's concept might make an exciting espionage series, changed the lead from a Swedish businessman to an American correspondent, and cast popular Broadway/singing star Robert Goulet as the agent, code named 'Blue Light'.
Each episode, while pretending to support Nazi activities, and broadcasting anti-American propaganda, Goulet's 'David March' would actually be passing, in code, essential strategic information to the allies. The job, of course, branded him a traitor, a role he had to continuously play, even carrying on the charade with the woman he loved, Suzanne Duchard, portrayed by French actress Christine Carère (only the allied High Command knew his secret). Some members of the Gestapo had suspicions of March's sincerity, however, and would sometimes pass him 'bad' information, hoping to trip him up, and then execute him.
Shot in color, and broadcast on ABC, "Blue Light" placed March among the highest ranking Nazis, with frequent parties and social occasions providing an elegant backdrop to the intrigue. Goulet's performance was convincing in his dramatic TV debut, and the series wasn't bad, despite the occasional 'sixties' hairdo popping up, and the laughable German accents the actors portraying 'Nazis' all adopted. What ultimately killed the program was simply a bad time slot, and poor ratings.
For another 'take' on an American journalist/spy 'working' for the Nazis in WWII, catch MOTHER NIGHT, a MUCH darker 1996 film with Nick Nolte.