7.4/10
3,375
60 user 10 critic

The Man Who Never Was (1956)

Approved | | War, Drama | 9 May 1956 (France)
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.

Director:

Writers:

(book) (as The Hon. Ewen Montagu C.B.E. D.L. Q.C.), (screenplay)
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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
...
Pam
...
Patrick O'Reilly
...
Adm. Cross
...
Gen. Nye
...
The Father
...
Taxi Driver
...
...
Gen. Coburn
...
Vice-Admiral
...
Landlady
...
Larry (as Terence Longden)
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Club Porter
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Storyline

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 <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  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Eastmancolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the events of this film took place in 1943, Sir Bernard Spilsbury was in his 60s. André Morell, who plays him in the film, was in his late 40s when the film was made. See more »

Goofs

When Lucy is sitting at the piano talking about Joe who O'Reilly mistakes for Wm Martin, she is holding a drink. The camera breaks to Pam and O'Reilly and when it returns to Lucy, she is no longer holding the glass. See more »

Quotes

Admiral Canaris: Well?
German Officer: There's nothing new from Madrid, Admiral. The Führer has told his conference that the documents are undoubtedly genuine.
Admiral Canaris: You mean HE doesn't doubt them.
German Officer: He's quite sure.
Admiral Canaris: The Führer, of course, has certain advantages over mere intelligence officers like you and me, Frederick. He has his intuition, whereas we have to rely on our brains. And he's sure God is on his side.
German Officer: But you are not?
Admiral Canaris: I do not believe that God is on my side to the extent of sending me the enemy's plans.
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

Featured in Operation Mincemeat (2010) 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
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User Reviews

Based on a true story, and very well done
19 January 2001 | by (New Orleans, La.) – See all my reviews

Interesting, absorbing tale based on an actual British Intelligence operation during World War II. The casting (Clifton Webb is perfect in the lead role) was top notch, and the impeccable attention to even minor details was extraordinary. A fan of 'blood and guts' movies would be well advised to look elsewhere...this well-crafted little gem is for the connoisseur.

Stephen Boyd gave a very good performance as an Irish secret agent working for the Nazis. In several scenes, he could barely contain his contempt for the English people he encountered during his mission in London. At one point, after setting himself up for capture by counter-intelligence agents, he awaits their arrival with his Luger pistol, obviously hoping for a bloody showdown, and when the agents fail to appear, he is both relaxed and also angry at not getting to kill anyone. Subtle, yet amazing.

9 out of 10.


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