O.S.S. agents are in training for work behind enemy lines in WWII. Upon receiving his latest batch of trainees, training leader Bob Sharkey is informed one of the rookies is actually a German mole. Letting the mole continue thinking he is undetected, Sharkey feeds the mole false information about important upcoming operations. But as Sharkey arranges his agents missions, and that of the mole, things go wrong and Sharkey himself must go into occupied France and risk the wrath of the Gestapo at 13 Rue Madeleine.
13 Rue Madeleine is a very efficient and enjoyable War/Spy/Thriller, it's directed by multi genre helmsman Henry Hathaway and stars acting legend James Cagney as Sharkey. Tho playing a tough guy, this is quite far removed from the sort of roles that defined Cagney's career, he's ably supported by Richard Conte and Walter Abel, but in all honesty it's Cagney's film all the way. As many other reviewers have mentioned, the majority of the picture feels like a documentary, or more a sort of public service explanation on the History Channel, not a bad thing exactly, but the dulcet narration is something I personally could have done without. However once the picture nicely turns its attention to the crucial mission, things start heating up and the film becomes a film in the truer sense of the word. We are fully engaged with the central characters having been with them thru Sharkey's training school, and as the (fabulous) ending draws closer, it's hoped that the majority of viewers are as involved with the plot as I personally was. Because then when the end does come, it impacts the way the makers hoped it would.
A very commendable picture and certainly recommended to fans of Cagney, Conte and this type of movie. 7/10