Mr. Topaze ('Peter Sellers') is an unassuming school teacher in an unassuming small French town who is honest to a fault. He is fired when he refuses to give a passing grade to a bad ... See full summary »
American agent Peter Murphy is trying to escape from East Berlin when he encounters his exact double, millionaire playboy Mark Wainwright. After Wainwright is mistaken for him and killed by... See full summary »
British Intelligence during World War II is trying to get the German High Command to shift its forces away from Italy prior to the invasion. To create the illusion that England is in fact planning to invade Greece, they plan to procure a dead body, plant secret papers on it, and arrange for the Spanish authorities to find it and send the papers on to the Germans. That's the plan, anyway. First they have to find a body that will look drowned, then create an identity for it that will pass German scrutiny. Based on a true story. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The beach in Spain where the body was found is Punta Umbria and the grave of " the man who never was" is in a cemetery in nearby Huelva. See more »
As the canister holding the corpse of "Major Martin" is winched out of the HMS Seraph, the last line of lettering on the side is seen to be mostly worn away and nearly illegible. In the very next scene as the canister is lifted onto the submarine's deck, the lettering is suddenly completely legible once more - "SPECIAL F.O.S. SHIPMENT". See more »
[Montagu has just informed him of the secret plan to use a freshly dead body as if it were a live person to fool the Nazis]
It's the most outrageous, disgusting, preposterous, not to say barbaric idea I've ever heard, but work out full details and get back to me in the morning!
Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu:
Thank you, sir!
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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 »
"The Man Who Never Was" is a wonderfully suspenseful, well-done World War II drama starring Clifton Webb, Gloria Grahame, and Stephen Boyd. Superbly directed by Ronald Neame, the film is based on a true story - the planting of a dead body washed onto the Greek shore, which carries papers which will redirect the Axis away from an invasion of Italy planned by the Allies. In order to carry out this hoax, the Allies need the body of a man who died of pneumonia, which will mimic a drowning and fool the Nazis. The scene where such a man is located and Clifton Webb talks to the father is one of the most touching of the film, as is the poignant ending.
For all the accolades about his acting, it still seems that Clifton Webb is under-appreciated today - he goes from a vicious, fey gossip in "The Razor's Edge" to a difficult husband in "Titanic" to a strong, decisive, distinguished member of British Intelligence in this movie flawlessly. He is perfect as Montague. Stephen Boyd is excellent as an Irishman working undercover for the Nazis who appears in London to verify the existence of the dead soldier, who is given a fake identity. Gloria Grahame plays a woman who unexpectedly falls in love and winds up as part of the plot. She turns in a heartbreaking performance. The rest of the cast is uniformly good.
The movie's excitement comes not from action but from the tension of the situation. It's filmed in beautiful color. An excellent movie.
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