Secret Invasion '64
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The story of British Intelligence using criminals to work behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia during World War II.System Requirements:Running Time: 95 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA/CLASSICS Rating: NR UPC: 883904106418 Manufacturer No: M110641
Roger Corman's 1964 The Secret Invasion is a variation on the theme of misfits pooling dark skills to help defeat the Nazi menace in World War II. A fun drama with many of Corman's shoestring-budget trademarks (stock film footage, creative if not always careful use of lighting to match shots), The Secret Invasion stars a number of familiar faces with eclectic star power. Stewart Granger plays a British officer who builds a team out of a handful of skilled criminals freed from various prisons, with the purpose of sending them on a dangerous, undercover mission. (The Secret Invasion was released three years before the similar-sounding The Dirty Dozen.) Among his shady underlings is an expert forger (Edd Byrnes, never a hair out of place), a demolitions expert (Mickey Rooney in a somewhat annoying, too-sprightly performance as an Irish kook), a moody assassin (Henry Silva), an ace impersonator (William Campbell, brother of the film's writer, R. Wright Campbell), and the story's most charismatic figure, a renaissance genius who quickly becomes the team's chief strategist (Raf Vallone).
The group's intent is to rescue an Italian general from the Germans in a very charming, coastal town. The effort forces the reluctant good guys to sustain much brutality from the enemy, and watching while psychological pressures turn some of their more self-centered members into heroes while more damaged participants become doomstruck zombies. Corman juggles the particulars of an extended, chaotic fight scene in the film's final minutes, demonstrating his prowess with no-fuss action shooting and cutting. But its the film's air of tragedy and irony that ultimately lingers, wiping away any self-congratulatory cleverness from the impossible-mission plot. --Tom Keogh
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an exciting story, colorful characters, and gorgeous location photography
in Dubrovnik, Croatia. One of the big pleasures is seeing how the five
criminal "experts" (and their British Army commander) each make a choice
to sacrifice for the mission, and thus for a free world. The formerly
selfish reprobates learn to care, and become genuine heroes. But in the
final view, there is really no glory or satisfaction, just a bloody job
accomplished at a terrible cost, as in any war.
Most recent customer reviews
Nothing makes sense in The Secret Invasion (1964).Read more