13 Rue Madeleine (Fox 1947 with James Cagney, Richard Conte and Sam Jaffe)

USA / Twentieth Century Fox / 95 minutes / 1947

Writer: John Monks Jr, Sy Bartlett / Director: Henry Hathaway


James Cagney, Annabella, Richard Conte, Frank Latimore, Walter Abel, Sam Jaffe, Melville Cooper, Blanche Yurka

Based on the true story of the the activities of the OSS (Office Of Strategic Services) during World War II 13 Rue Madeleine sees James Cagney playing Bob Sharkey who trains four operatives to track down a hidden German rocket site only for one of them to be murdered, Sharkey is convinced there is a German spy working within the OSS.

Although it’s now nearly 60 years old 13 Rue Madeleine still looks crisply fantastic. Director Henry Hathaway utilised actual OSS files to make the movie as realistic as possible, added to the fact that most of the movie was shot on location gives us a real docu-drama type feel.

13 Rue Madeleine is very exciting, the early training scenes at a spy school are great fun and the tension builds as Cagney’s Sharkey realises that a double agent is in his midst.

Cagney makes the film too, his bouncy confidence giving the movie some great swagger.

If you a fan of Cagney and like your movies vintage then you will certainly find much to enjoy in 13 Rue Madeleine. Also watch out for early appearances by soon to be names Red Buttons (as a radio operator) and Karl Malden as a pilot.

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