O.S.S.


1h 47m 1946

Brief Synopsis

John Martin is part of an American spy team dropped into France during World War II to destroy the French railway system. After successfully blowing up a tunnel he runs back to save Ellen and is told "Never come back for me again." Later he must choose whether or not to obey her wishes.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 26, 1946
Premiere Information
New York opening: 31 May 1946
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

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.

Cast

Alan Ladd

John Martin

Geraldine Fitzgerald

Ellen Rogers, also known as Elaine Dupree

Patric Knowles

Commander Brady

John Hoyt

Colonel Paul Meister

Gloria Saunders

Mary Kenny, Sparks

Richard Webb

Parker

Richard Benedict

Bernay

Harold Vermilyea

Amadeus Brink

Don Beddoe

Gates

Onslow Stevens

Field

Gavin Muir

Colonel Crawson

Egon Brecher

Marcel Aubert

Joseph Crehan

General Donovan

Bobby Driscoll

Gerard

Julia Dean

Madame Prideaux

Crane Whitley

Arnheim

Leslie Denison

Lieut. Col. Miles

Roberta Jonay

Gracie Archer

Jean Ruth

Brady's secretary

Frederick Voltz

Trainee

Lawson Houghton

Trainee

Harlan Warde

Trainee

Fred Zendar

Trainee

Paul Lees

Trainee

William Meader

Trainee

Albert Ruiz

Trainee

Charles Victor

Trainee

Catherine Craig

Williams' secretary

Albert Van Antwerp

Guard

Frank Ferguson

Research man

Murray F. Yeats

Tall man

Edward Harvey

Mr. Williams

Pat Mcveigh

Plainclothesman

Tom Schamp

Plainclothesman

Walter Pietila

Attendant at mansion

James Westerfield

Stout man

Robert Wegner

Gateman

Tom Stevenson

Instructor

Verne Anders

Sentry

Jimmie Dundee

Sentry

Janna De Loos

Woman refugee

Andre Charlot

French importer

Will Tunnis

Young man

George Sorel

Husky refugee

Michael Brandon

Officer

Jean Del Val

Conductor

Frank Dae

Scientist

George Barton

Handyman

Jean Ransome

Elevator operator

Dorothy Barrett

Brady's secretary in London

Ed Kerr

Courier

Herbert Wyndham

Co-pilot

Anthony Marsh

British pilot

John Bogden

Assistant jumpmaster

James Craven

Jumpmaster

Holger Bendixen

German soldier/German sergeant

Carl Ekberg

German soldier

Leo Schlesinger

German soldier

Eric Steiner

German soldier

Eddie Bauer

German soldier

Walter Rode

German soldier

Zane Megowan

German soldier

Jack Sterling

German soldier

Bob Templeton

German soldier

Paul Stupin

German soldier

Len Hendry

German soldier

Frederick J. Waugh Jr.

British non-com

Jerome Alden

British non-com

Robert Cordell

Major at airport shack

Jack Lambert

German lieutenant

Rene Dussaq

French artillery officer

Ben Erway

Waiter

George Bruggeman

M.P. non-com

Monica Folts

Little girl with kitten

John Maxwell

LaFevre

Albert Petit

Resistance man

Paul Diamond

Resistance man

Carmen Beretta

Resistance woman

Tony Merlo

Reynal

Helen Chapman

Resistance girl

Kathleen Terry

Operator next to Kenny

Philip Ahlm

German officer

John Dehner

German captain, radar

Edmund Porada

German sergeant operator

Jon Gilbreath

German lieutenant, radar

Henry Vroom

German corporal

Peter Michael

German non-com

Fred Kohler Jr.

Fireman

Joseph Granby

Engineer

Edward Clark

French waiter

Renee Randall

Cashier

Louise Colombet

Old Frenchwoman

Major Fred Farrell

Old Frenchman

Dorothy Adams

Claudette

John Harmon

Pierre

Fred Nurney

Officer courier, major

Frank Pulliam Jr.

B-25 pilot

George Taylor

Gestapo plainclothesman

Hans Moebus

Gestapo man

Dick Elmore

German Army private

Gene Garrick

Operator

Henry Guttman

German major

Paul Barrett

British pilot

Jerry James

Pilot

Byron Poindexter

Co-pilot

James Andrews

Radio operator

Carl Saxe

S.S. man

Roger Creed

S.S. man

Carl Andre

Col. Meister's aide

Billy Lechner

U.S. soldier

Carl Russell

U.S. soldier

Fred Datig Jr.

U.S. soldier

Frank Chalfant

U.S. soldier

George Billings

U.S. soldier

Charles Ferguson

U.S. soldier

George Fannon

Marine captain/Trainee

Billy Burt

Lieut. J. G.

Gus Taillon

Crew

Daniele Amfitheatrof

Music Score

Lieutenant Raphaël G. Beugnon Aus

O.S.S. tech consultant

Edward Cohen

Portrait painter

Sam Comer

Set Decoration

John Cope

Sound Recording

Major Robert M. Cordell Inf, Res.

O.S.S. tech consultant

Mary Kay Dodson

Costumes

Haldane Douglas

Art Director

Hans Dreier

Art Director

Captain Rene Dussaq

Technical Advisor

Farciot Edouart

Process Photography

Csp(p) William D. Faralla Usnr

O.S.S. tech consultant

Constance Grant

Assistant to research Director

Loyal Griggs

Assistant transparency projection

Captain Howard C. Haldecott Royal Artillery

Other tech consultants

Devereux Jennings

Assistant Special Photographer Effects, miniatures

Gordon Jennings

Special Photography Effects

Wallace Kelley

Assistant transparency projection

Paul Lerpae

Assistant Special optical Effects

Harold Lewis

Sound Recording

Lionel Lindon

Director of Photography

Richard Maibaum

Writer

Richard Maibaum

Producer

Captain Robert K. Osterman Inf. Res.

Other tech consultants

Lieutenant Vivienne Patterson Wac

Other tech consultants

Helen Gladys Percey

Research Director

Colonel William C. Powers Usmc, Ret.

Other tech consultants

Captain Frank Pulliam Jr., Ac, Res.

O.S.S. tech consultant

William Rand

2nd Camera

Irmin Roberts

Assistant Special Photographer Effects, matte

Heinz Roemheld

Music Score

Stanley J. Sawley

Set Decoration

Commander John M. Shaheen Usnr

O.S.S. tech consultant

William Shea

Editing

Captain Frederick J. Waugh Jr., Aus

O.S.S. tech consultant

Wally Westmore

Makeup Supervisor

Philip G. Wisdom

Music mixer

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 26, 1946
Premiere Information
New York opening: 31 May 1946
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The opening title card reads: "O.S.S., United States Government Office of Strategic Services, Washington, D.C." The foreword to the film states: "While the characters in this motion picture are fictitious, the story is based on a composite of actual incidents in the diversified activities of the United States Office of Strategic Services which conducted intelligence, special operations, and unorthodox methods of warfare in support of allied military operations. It is a tribute to the brave, resourceful men and women, living and dead, who volunteered for these dangerous assignments. [signed] William J. Donovan, Director of Strategic Services."
       According to Paramount News items, before Paramount could make this film, the script had to be officially approved by Major-General Donovan, who organized the O.S.S. in 1942. Paramount News reported that with the cooperation of the U.S. government, O.S.S.'s declassified files were opened up for Paramount's inspection, and that many of the factual records were incorporated into the film's script. From hundreds of O.S.S. incidents, writer-producer Richard Maibaum, a former Lieutenant-Colonel in the U.S. Army, took three typical adventures and wove them into the screen story. Technical advisor Commander John M. Shaheen was the former chief of the special projects division of the O.S.S.
       A news item in Paramount News states that ex-Army sergeant Edward Cohen, who painted portraits of American officers in Wiesbaden, Germany during the war, was commissioned to paint the oil paintings used in this film. Portions of the film were shot at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and on location in Palos Verdes, CA. The film marked the motion picture debut of stage actors John Hoyt, formerly known as John Hoysradt, and Harold Vermilyea. Paramount News also reported that one of Adolf Hitler's sleek black touring phaetons, a streamlined 1937 model Horch, was used in the film. Alan Ladd reprised his role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on November 18, 1946, co-starring Veronica Lake.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video June 10, 1997

Released in United States Summer July 26, 1946

Released in United States on Video June 10, 1997

Released in United States Summer July 26, 1946