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The Man Who Never Was (1956)

Approved  |   |  War, Drama  |  9 May 1956 (France)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,800 users  
Reviews: 54 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) (as The Hon. Ewen Montagu C.B.E. D.L. Q.C.) , (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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Edit

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

Taglines:

Terrifyingly true! Unbelievably real! 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:

Der Mann, den es nie gab  »

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

In addition to providing the voice of Winston Churchill in two scenes of this film, Peter Sellers can also be heard as the voice coming over the airfield tannoy during the parachute demonstration and, very briefly, as the voice of an unseen taxi driver. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Lieutenant George Acres: You know, Monty, what we really want is something absolutely simple, the simpler the better.
Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu: Good boy, George, you're absolutely right.
Lieutenant George Acres: Well, how about this: suppose we issue Greek dictionaries to all the troops. Why should we do that unless we intend to invade Greece? That would fool them.
Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu: I should make it Eskimo dictionaries. That would really fool them.
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 Al Stillman (1941)
Sung by the patrons of pub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perfect Webb in near-perfect film
22 May 2000 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Gripping in its adherance to detail, this film casts every role perfectly. The always underrated Gloria Grahame lends the film an unexpected emotional pop, and all others are perfectly in character in executing a complex plan. This movie demands its audience's attention and plays to your intelligence. In other words, it would never be made today! Well worth seeing.


40 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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