13 Rue Madeleine

Synopsis: Documentary-style prologue follows training of O.S.S. agents for WWII work behind enemy lines. One of the group is a German "mole;" leaders Gibson and Sharkey are aware of this and scheme to feed him false info about the invasion of Europe, while the real agents go to France to find a secret V-2 rocket depot. But the German spy outsmarts them and rejoins his people knowing too much; Bob Sharkey takes the risk of going in after him.
Director(s): Henry Hathaway
Production: 20th Century Fox
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

[Man Narrating]

"What is past is prologue."

Yes, here at the National Archives

in Washington D. C...

past is prologue...

for this is the final resting place

of the histories and records...

of tens of thousands

of illustrious Americans.

World War II has come

to a victorious conclusion...

and now new names and new records

are being added to the list...

for the nation and the world are

for the first time learning...

of silent and significant deeds

performed in foreign lands...

by a legion of anonymous men and women...

the Army of Secret Intelligence.

When Washington, recovering from

the staggering blow of Pearl Harbor...

realized how effective had been

the long-established...

espionage machines

of Germany and Japan...

from the White House came orders

that the United States, too...

must have eyes and ears

within enemy countries.

Immediately, the nation commenced...

for the first time in its history...

to recruit a Secret

Intelligence Corps.

As the man best capable of organizing

the secret activities...

of the new United States

Intelligence Corps...

the president chose a Saint Louis

attorney, Charles Stevenson Gibson...

whose background in international

affairs had been gained...

from ten years'special service

in the American Embassy in Berlin.

As director of

Secret Intelligence...

Gibson reported only to the president

and theJoint Chiefs of Staff.

Among the top-level executives

of United States Secret Intelligence...

was a widely traveled scholar

and soldier of fortune...

Robert Emmet Sharkey

of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Master of five languages and one

of America's foremost athletes...

Bob Sharkey was twice captured

by the Germans in World War I...

and both times escaped

with a brilliant record of

achievement behind enemy lines.

To Washington, in the weeks and months

that followed Pearl Harbor...

had come 76 carefully selected

groups of candidates...

for training and assignment

to secret operations overseas.

At the Union Station

one morning in 1944...

among thejostling thousands,

came the 77th group of candidates...

each unknown to the other.

The Washington headquarters of Secret

Intelligence was under tight security...

its address and telephone unlisted

in any governmental directory.

Few even knew of its existence.

The story of Operation 77

is typical of the activities...

of any of the 76 groups

which preceded it.

Each candidate's qualifications

and background...

had been checked and rechecked

before he was called to Washington.

Every member of O77 had volunteered

without reservation...

for hazardous duty

behind enemy lines.

Among those assigned to O77

were men like Pappy Simpson...

a British intelligence officer

in the First World War...

and, until early 1942,

a professor of English literature...

at Dartmouth College

at Hanover, New Hampshire.

Suzanne de Beaumont,

a French citizen...

had found herself stranded in the

United States when France fell in 1940.

Ofher husband, a captain

of artillery in the French army,

nothing had been heard.

Jeff Lassiter, son of a former

American consul at Bern, Switzerland...

was educated at Geneva

and Oxford.

Lassiter was recruited from the

Officers Training School at U.C.L. A...

partly because ofhis

superior knowledge of French.

Bill O'Connell,

a Rutgers graduate...

Bill O'Connell,

a Rutgers graduate...

had been employed in the Foreign

Department of the Chase National Bank.

He spent two years in the bank's

European branches...

then Hitler went on the march...

and O'Connell returned

to New York.

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John Monks Jr.

John Cherry Monks Jr. (February 24, 1910 – December 10, 2004) was an author, actor, playwright, screenwriter, director, and a U.S. Marine. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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