In Spring 1944 the Allied invasion in Europe was just a matter of time, the German intelligence was desperate to find a source that would give them informations about time and place where the landing forces will attack.
In Spring 1944 Allied invasion in Europe was just a matter of time, but while German intelligence was well aware of the preparations they were still missing the most important parts of the informations: where and when? German agent, American citizen Gus Lang, provided them with bits of the information about planned test landing on the English coast, but what they really needed was an Overlord, one of the main officers that had the knowledge of the whole landing plan. Using the data from Lang Germans prepared a daring plan - group of torpedo speedboats were to intercept one of the ships taking part in the whole operation, aboard will be Overlord Lieutenant Andy Wheeler. Wheeler is taken to prison in Paris, where he will be interrogated, but Gus Lang did not provided that information out of the blue, he was given that information by British intelligence, because he is a double agent working for the Allies. Germans are under pressure to learn the details of invasion, but their interrogation methods did not proved to be effective with Wheeler. In his medical records they found the informations about his heart condition, which could kill him during the tortures, so they have to find another way to get to him. They choose Gus Lang as the solution - he is smuggled out of England to Paris, where he will be put in prison together with Wheeler to gain his trust. And I won’t even mention the scene in which Lang was taking over the prisoner, because it was embarrassingly stupid...
American spy thriller that takes place during World War 2, just before D-Day. It was the first screenplay of Ronald Bass, later Oscar winner for Rain Man, he based it on his own novel The Emerald Illusion, but while the idea for the drama taking place in the German prison and the race of two intelligence organizations was appealing, the story had some real flaws that made this war movie a dud. The flaws were linked with the basic events that started the whole story, for example it would be insane for Overlord (not to mention most of them) to take part in the test landing on English coast. They were high level intelligence officers taking care of logistics and planning, they would not be risked in technicalities, like test run of the landing. Another thing is the whole story of Code Name: Emerald is the use of double agent that gives away an actual Overlord to Germans, which... has no sense at all. I mean what would Allies gain by providing the real Overlord to Germans, risking that he would share even a part of his knowledge with enemy? Same story with Lang himself - why would Germans risk their best agent in Britain (as they thought) to take part in the interrogation? They lose the source of information in England and do not gain anything that any other English-speaking agent would provide for them in Paris prison. And just one more tip of the iceberg - if the Germans have the list of the Overlords and their medical records wouldn’t that mean the Allied forces were actually infiltrated already? They were the most important officers in England and yet the Allies could not protect their identities?
While the story itself is appealing Code Name: Emerald was just cheap spy thriller that had very little to do with history or realism.
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