powered by AFI
At an electronics plant in Baltimore, Maryland, secret agent John Martin attempts to steal plans for an electric circuit. Caught and arrested for espionage, Martin is turned over to the Office of Strategic Services, which is training a group of new recruits by sending them on test missions. Along with three other men with secret identities, Gates, Parker and Bernay, and one woman, Elaine Dupree, Martin is sent to France to blow up a railroad tunnel in order to paralyze Axis troops while Allied soldiers invade. Martin is dubious of Elaine's ability to work under pressure because she is a woman, but she insists that he treat her as he would any other agent. During the group's first assignment, at a rural French inn, Gates is killed by German agents. A meeting of the French resistance is interrupted by German colonel Paul Meister, who becomes immediately infatuated with Elaine. Elaine, a sculptor, sculpts a bust of Meister's head, and when he announces his departure for Normandy on a troop train, she begs him to take her with him. With Martin's help, Elaine makes a duplicate bust and fills it with plastic explosives. She and Martin then blow up the tunnel, and after Martin comes back for her as the Germans shoot at them, Elaine makes Martin promise never to jeopardize a mission in order to rescue her. On foot, they meet Bernay, who is their radio contact with O.S.S. officials. As the Allies break through at Normandy, Elaine and Martin make a deal with Amadeus Brink, an officer of the Gestapo, who hopes to secure his immunity and a small fortune. Brink removes Martin and Elaine's "wanted" file from the Gestapo sector headquarters and arranges for his cousin, a courier, to hand over a diplomatic pouch to Bernay for photocopying. Bernay places the negative in the lining of Martin's hat. Against Brink's advice, Bernay radios a final message that the Nazis have broken one of their secret codes. Bernay is gunned down, and Martin and Elaine are questioned by the gestapo and released before Meister catches Brink with their file papers. Martin and Elaine are about to board a plane to safety when they are asked to complete one last mission. They must contact Parker, who is on assignment near the Rhine. At a farmhouse, Elaine is accosted by a group of drunken German soldiers, and Parker, hiding among them, gives Elaine the Germans' troop dispositions. Martin leaves the farmhouse to radio in the positions, and while he is gone, Meister arrests Elaine. As the American troops march through France, Parker tells Martin that Elaine's real name was Ellen Rogers, and he imagines that she might have been the girl next door in his home town.