The Secret Invasion

1964

Action / Drama / History / War

11
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62%
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 758

Synopsis


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August 09, 2016 at 08:04 AM

Director

Cast

Mickey Rooney as Terence Scanlon - Demolition
Edd Byrnes as Simon Fell - Forger
Henry Silva as John Durrell - Assassin
William Campbell as Jean Saval
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
691 MB
1280*544
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 35 min
P/S 2 / 4
1.46 GB
1920*816
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 35 min
P/S 2 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Oslo Jargo (Bartok Kinski) 3 / 10

Dubious Patriots

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nothing makes sense in The Secret Invasion (1964). Director Roger Corman is out to lunch with the script, but the scenes are shot rather well. He's managed to scrounge up some decent actors and highly ambitious locale (the city of Dubrovnik, a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea) but does nothing with them. He was probably filming five other movies to save money. Most of the actors are so annoying that you'd wish for their death early on. They are cardboard thugs, not emphasizing any emotion at all. Mickey Rooney as Terence Scanlon, Henry Silva as John Durrell and Stewart Granger as Major Richard Mace are just a few found in this stinker.

The Germans aren't much better since they seem to be played by idiotic Slavics and a highly annoying boneheaded commander. They can't seem to shoot very well either, having great difficulty in killing the idiotic "Secret Invasion" force. The last half just deteriorates so badly that it won't do you any good to watch it.

It's hard to tell what Raf Vallone (Italian footballer and international film actor) is saying with his heavy accent, it's even harder to tell why he's snapping his fingers throughout the film. The plot is so convoluted that you have to stop just to scratch your head. These guys take a small boat into German-occupied Yugoslavia and find a graveyard to dig a hole to the big German-occupied castle that has some Italian general. They dig a few hours, and it must be about two miles to the big German-occupied castle. Okay, brilliant guys. Then they get caught and are stuck inside and manage to kill about every German guard inside. Heck, why not send them to the Italian front to defeat the German divisions?

The ending made no sense at all either. But that wasn't really surprising. In all, I guess people who don't appreciate decent war films will love this ridiculous rubbish. Anyone with a brain will probably go get Hell Is for Heroes (1962), directed by Don Siegel and starring Steve McQueen for the tenth time.

Reviewed by Spikeopath 6 / 10

Dubious Patriots.

The Secret Invasion is directed by Roger Corman and written by R. Wright Campbell. It stars Stewart Granger, Raf Vallone, Mickey Rooney, Edd Byrnes, Henry Silva, Spela Rozin and William Campbell. Music is by Hugo Friedhofer and Eastman Color cinematography is by Arthur E. Arling.

1943 and British Intelligence send Major Richard Mace (Granger) and five convicts into Yugoslavia on a dangerous mission. They are to rescue an Italian General from German captivity in the hope that he will join the fight against the Nazis.

An army based reworking of Corman and Campbell's Five Guns West from 1955, The Secret Invasion is cheap on budget but rich on action. A sort of forerunner to Where Eagles Dare and Operation Cross Eagles, and a definite companion piece for the far superior The Dirty Dozen that followed three years later, it's a film that's hard to dislike. There's such a sense of fun about the whole thing and Corman still manages to create suspense and craft potent action scenes.

The ensemble cast bring to life the roll call of damaged characters who are either looking for redemption, personal gain or just a crack at getting the freedom dangled in front of them. The Eastman Color is very appealing, the pic actually filmed on location in Yugoslavia, and Friedhofer provides a very effective musical score that hits the right beats for the blend of drama and sorrow that fills out the plot.

Corman inevitably has to cut some corners, such as one key character is killed off screen, not all the acting is great and veers close to being second string Spaghetti Western standard, and of course the plot is bonkers. But the flaws never stop it being worth the time of the Action War film fan. 6.5/10

Reviewed by Theo Robertson 5 / 10

Am I Allowed To Mention Other And Better War Films ?

British officer Major Richard Mace recruits a bunch of convicted criminals in to a carrying out a secret mission that involves rescuing an Italian General being held hostage by the Nazis in Yugoslavia . If they succeed they'll be granted a pardon . If they fail they won't have to worry about living long enough to be sent back to jail because this is a literal suicide mission

The above premise is very similar to THE DIRTY DOZEN a fact reflected that everyone on this page has brought up the 1967 film directed by Robert Aldrich . Of course there's only so many ways you can deal a pack of cards so sooner or later premises are going to meet one another and the 1960s were full of movies where desperate men were conscripted in to carrying out suicide missions behind enemy lines . THE SECRET INVASION probably didn't have much or any influence over THE DIRTY DOZEN and perhaps this 1964 movie owes more to the 1961 big budget release THE GUNS OF NAVERONE ?

Where THE DIRTY DOZEN succeeds is that the group of soldiers turned criminals turned back in to soldiers again are far more convincing than the ones seen here . You want a demolition expert then who better than Mickey Rooney who shockingly was only 44 when this movie was released but looks like a man at least 20 years older . You do get the impression that his character would have a problem running up a flight of stairs never mind taking part in a physically draining mission against the Nazis

THE SECRET INVASION is directed by Roger Corman and that alone tells you what the production values are going to be like . The action scenes aren't handled well with three or four actors squeezed in to frame as bullets whizz past explosions take place out of shot that fails to convince the audience that an epic battle scene is taking place . That said the resolution to the mission is somewhat surprising and unexpected which means if the film had a bigger budget then it might have been held in higher regard than it actually is

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