During World War II, the British set up the Special Operations Executive. This secretive organisation was established with the purpose of carrying out espionage, reconnaissance and sabotage in occupied Europe. Odette Sansom was a French-born British agent who was persuaded to join the SOE. She was awarded the George Cross for her contribution to the war effort. Herbert Wilcox’s Odette tells her story.
After a mistake regarding the address of some photographs, Odette (Anna Neagle) comes to the attention of the SOE. The mother of two is recruited to operate in her homeland as a spy. After being given an alias and backstory, she arrives in Cannes where she’s greeted by her superior Peter Churchill (Trevor Howard). He introduces her to Arnauld (Peter Ustinov), another agent, and is soon trusted with her first mission in Marseilles.
Looking pristine with its new restoration, Odette is a heartening tale of an ordinary woman who through courage, determination and a sense of duty plays an important role in handing the initiative to the Allies. Neagle and Howard are both superb, personifying the bravery and heroism of those who worked as overseas operatives. Odette is a wonderful war story which deserves to be seen by a new generation.
- New interview with Sebastian Faulks, author of Charlotte Gray
- Those British Faces: Anna Neagle
- Afternoon Plus with Mavis Nicholson – Interview with Odette Hallowes (1980)
- Captain Peter Churchill and Odette Sansom get Married in London (1947)
Odette is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and on Digital Download from Studiocanal as part of the Vintage Classics collection.