How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines (1943)

  |  Drama, War


How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines (1943) Poster

A training film for OSS agents who are to be dropped behind enemy lines, covering cover and concealment, ambush techniques, etc.


6/10
224

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

John Ford

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


3 December 2014 | rmax304823
6
| Of Spies and Strategems.
I wouldn't have believed it but John Ford plays an important role as an actor in this production. In the part of an interviewer dealing with an applicant for the OSS, Ford isn't bad actually. But he needed a director. Seated behind his desk, grilling the recruit, he keeps waving his hand, the one with the pipe in it, as if trying to hide his face -- the features not already hidden behind his dark glasses. Maybe it's meant as a joke because his judgment about the new recruit turns out to be mistaken.

Some of this will already be familiar to viewers, from watching James Bond movies or "The Odessa File" or "The Jackal." But some of it is rather new, and ALL of it was new in 1943, which is why I assume it was classified until the post-war years.

Basically the story of two new recruits, Al (the good one) and Charlie (the careless one). Charlie goes to "Enemyland" in La Porta, drinks, flirts with the waitresses, goofs off, and poses as a fisherman.

Al becomes a mechanic in a "Falcon" factory in Enemyland and he's cautious, leads an unassuming life -- "the kind of man who always kept to himself". It probably helps that Al has a face full of meaningless mansuetude with all the interest of a Nutrisystem Lunch.

Some of the details are interesting. A British agent reveals himself when he uses a British "hair grease". Even Al, the summum bonum of spydom, makes an error when he nervously stubs out a half-used cigarette in a country where cigarettes are a precious commodity.

It's still hard to believe we're watching Ford play such a role. The only performance he ever mentioned was that of a KKK rider in "Birth of a Nation" -- the one wearing glasses. A reporter once asked him if he'd ever considered playing the lead in one of his Westerns. "What? With MY face?"

But, really, I for one learned a great deal from this movie. I learned that after one day trying to pose as a native in Enemyland, I'd be a dead OSS agent. I hope they'd bury me in the Alter Friedhof Weimar, near Goethe.

Critic Reviews


More Like This

The Battle of Midway

The Battle of Midway

Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

The Negro Soldier

The Negro Soldier

Report from the Aleutians

Report from the Aleutians

Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt

Know Your Enemy - Japan

Know Your Enemy - Japan

The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress

The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress

Prelude to War

Prelude to War

Tunisian Victory

Tunisian Victory

The Battle of Russia

The Battle of Russia

San Pietro

San Pietro

December 7th

December 7th

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | War

Details

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

Cary Elwes Is Taking Over the World of Streaming TV

The veteran movie star chats about his debut as the mayor of Hawkins in "Stranger Things" Season 3, plus his new role on the Amazon Original series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

Watch now

Featured on IMDb

Check out IMDb's San Diego Comic-Con coverage, featuring Kevin Smith as captain of the IMDboat, July 18 to 20, 2019, visit our guide to Star Wars, family entertainment, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com