Operator 13 (1934)





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If you can accept blonde, blue-eyed Marion Davies disguising herself in blackface, chances are you'll swallow the rest of Operator 13. Davies plays a Belle Boyd-like actress who agrees to become a Northern spy during the Civil War. She assumes the identity of an octoroon servant and heads into Southern territory. Marion meets dashing Confederate captain Gary Cooper, and instantly falls in love with him. Later, she assumes the disguise of a Southern belle to prevent Cooper from recruiting Southern sympathizers in the north. This time Cooper falls for Davies, which makes it hard for her to carry out her mission. After several more reels of espionage and romantic interludes, including a gently kinky sequence in which Cooper and Davies are handcuffed together, the lovers part company, promising to meet again when the war is over.
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Warner Bros.


Marion Davies
as Gail Loveless
Gary Cooper
as Capt. Jack Gailliard
Katharine Alexander
as Pauline Cushman
Jean Parker
as Eleanor Shackleford
Katherine Alexander
as Pauline Cushman
Ted Healy
as Dr. Hitchcock
Russell Hardie
as Littledale
Henry Wadsworth
as John Pelham
Douglas Dumbrille
as Gen. Stuart
Willard Robertson
as Capt. Channing
Fuzzy Knight
as Sweeney
Sidney Toler
as Maj. Allen
Robert McWade
as Col. Sharpe
Marjorie Gateson
as Mrs. Shackleford
Wade Boteler
as Gaston
Walter Long
as Operator 55
James Marcus
as Staff Colonel
Sam McDaniel
as Old Bob
Buddy Roosevelt
as Civilian
Donald Douglas
as Confederate Officer
Don Douglas
as Confederate Officer
Si Jenks
as White Trash
Reginald Barlow
as Col. Storm
Ernie Alexander
as Confederate Sentry
Richard Powell
as Confederate Sentry
Belle Daube
as Mrs. Dandridge
Martin Turner
as Wickman
Frank Burt
as Confederate Lieutenant
Wally Howe
as Clergyman
William Henry
as Young Lieutenant
Richard Tucker
as Execution Officer
Arthur Grant
as Chaplain
Sherry Tansey
as Officer
Lila Lance
as Witch Woman
Charles Lloyd
as Union Private
DeWitt Jennings
as Artillery Man
Sam Ash
as Lieutenant
Ernie S. Adams
as Orderly
Clarence Wilson
as Claybourne
Franklin Parker
as John Hay
Sterling Holloway
as Wounded Soldier
Sherry Hall
as Army Officer
Douglas Fowley
as Union Officer
Fred Warren
as Gen. U.S. Grant
John Elliott
as Gen. Robert E. Lee
Frank Leighton
as Union Major
James C. Morton
as Secret Service Man
Hattie Hill
as Slave
Clarence H. Wilson
as Claybourne
John Larkin
as Party Guest
Poppy Wilde
as Party Guest
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Critic Reviews for Operator 13

All Critics (1)

Lavishly entertaining but nonsensical American Civil War spy story.

Full Review… | June 14, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Operator 13


An entertaining and economically paced melodrama with it's share of intrigue and excitement, though the ending feels rushed and the romance doesn't quite pay off due to that. Seeing Marion Davies in full-on blackface is disconcerting. Both off-putting and oddly comic, though what really gets me about that part of this film is the outrageous voice she puts on while disguised as a black southern slave. It isn't politically correct, but the voice just sends it over the top. I want to say it's offensive, and if it weren't so campy, and the film's message wasn't basically "love thy neighbor" I would. As it is, it's just kind of distracting, in a "I can't believe this was normal back then" kind of way.

Caleb McCandless
Caleb McCandless

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