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Circle of Deception

Circle of Deception(1961)

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In 1945, shortly before the Allied invasion of Europe, British Intelligence formulates a plan for outwitting the Germans in occupied France. Selecting an officer, they will deliberately give him false information and parachute him into Normandy on the theory that, if captured, he will crack under torture and reveal what he knows. The ruse can only succeed, however, if the officer believes that his mission is real. After lengthy psychological testing, Paul Raine, a young Canadian, is chosen for the job by the Intelligence chief, Captain Rawson. Partially responsible for the selection is Lieut. Lucy Bowen, who, though in love with Paul and opposed to the inhuman maneuver, reluctantly agrees with the decision. Everything works as planned; once in France, Paul is captured by the Gestapo, imprisoned, and relentlessly tortured. When close to the breaking point, he bites down on the cyanide pellet concealed in his hollow tooth. However, Rawson has seen to it that the capsule contains no poison; Paul "breaks" and tells the Germans everything. A short time later the French underground storms the prison and Paul is freed. Tortured with the thought that he betrayed his country, he flees to Tangiers and takes refuge in alcohol. As he hovers on the brink of suicide, Lucy finds him, tells him the truth, and restores his will to live.