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The Man Who Never Was (1956)

 -  War | Drama  -  9 May 1956 (France)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,460 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 8 critic

True story of a British attempt to trick the enemy into weakening Sicily's defenses before the 1943 attack, using a dead man with faked papers.

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(book), (screenplay)
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Title: The Man Who Never Was (1956)

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Cmdr. Ewen Montagu
...
Lucy Sherwood
Robert Flemyng ...
Lt. George Acres
Josephine Griffin ...
Pam
...
Patrick O'Reilly
Laurence Naismith ...
Adm. Cross
Geoffrey Keen ...
Gen. Nye
Moultrie Kelsall ...
The Father
...
Taxi Driver
...
...
Gen. Coburn
Allan Cuthbertson ...
Vice-Admiral
Joan Hickson ...
Landlady
Terence Longdon ...
Larry (as Terence Longden)
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Club Porter
Edit

Storyline

British Intelligence during World War II is trying to get the German High Command to shift it's forces away from Italy prior to the invasion. To create the illusion of a plan for England to invade Greece a dead body is to be procured, allowed to be found with secret papers on him by Spanish authorities who will send the papers on to the Germans, or that's the plan. First they have to find a body that will look drowned, and create an identity for him that will pass the examination of the German agent who is sure to check him out. Based on a true story. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dead body | spain | submarine | bank | 1940s | See more »

Taglines:

The most fiendish plot ever conceived! The most amazing "human being" ever created! The most diabolical phantom-- See more »

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

9 May 1956 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Never Was  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (magnetic prints)| (optical prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The quote that opens and closes the movie, "Last night I dreamed a deadly dream, beyond the Isle of Sky, I saw a dead man win a fight, and I think that man was I" is from the song "The Battle of Otterburn," Child Ballad #161 and appears in a manuscript dated circa 1550. The original reads, "But I hae (have) dreamed a dreary dream, Beyond the Isle of Skye; I saw a dead man win a fight, And I think that man was I." See more »

Goofs

Though the film is set in 1943, contemporary cars can be seen in a couple of location shots in London: when Montagu and Admiral Cross come out from their meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1950s cars parked in the background); and again when O'Reilly is sitting on the park bench ('50s cars pass on the street behind). See more »

Quotes

Voiceover in pre-credits sequence: Last night I dreamed a deadly dream / Beyond the Isle of Skye / I saw a dead man win a fight / And I think that man was I.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Military security and respect for a solemn promise have made it necessary to disguise the identity of some of the characters in this film; but in all other essentials this is the true story of "Major William Martin" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Back to the Beach (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Bless 'em All
(uncredited)
Written by Fred Godfrey (1917)
Revised lyrics by Jimmy Hughes and Frank Lake (1940)
Additional lyrics by Albert Stillman (1941)
Sung by the patrons of pub
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent to Watch
9 May 2004 | by (Ile-de-France / Paris Region, France) – See all my reviews

I have the feeling that this issue of this film on DVD is only a matter of months now. Picture quality and sound are excellent given when it was made. Will appeal to all fans of WW2 movies and illustrates values and heroism which unfortunately seem to have been forgotten today ! It is not a film of great action but the plot maintains the tension throughout and suspense is maintained till the very end. The quotation of a few lines read from a poem conjointly with the view of the sea produced a strange effect on me - although the stories are completely different, I could see some similarities with The Day of the Jackal. Definitely recommended.


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