13 Rue Madeleine (1946)

Genres - Action, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - War Spy Film  |   Release Date - Jan 15, 1947 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

13 Rue Madeleine is never as gripping and thrilling a spy story as one may want, but it's serviceable and mildly engaging -- certainly worth a viewing by those who enjoy espionage tales. Modern audiences will probably be amused by the somewhat stiff documentary-style voice-overs that introduce the film, and there's something "square" about the entire enterprise, but these flaws don't seriously detract from the film. What is a bit more of a problem is the lack of real suspense. The audience is clued in on many important developments too early, almost as if director Henry Hathaway felt as if he couldn't string the viewer along and let the tension build up in any one sequence for too long. Things, therefore, are presented a little too straightforwardly for this kind of film, and this dampens its ultimate impact. Fortunately, Madeleine has a very fine cast to keep the viewer's interest, lead by the solid, persuasive performance of James Cagney. Frank Latimore is a bit amateurish as Lassiter, but he's the only real weak link. The real O.S.S. footage is also a plus, especially for history buffs.