In Greece during the war a small group of British commandoes and patriots land on an island with orders to attack two airfields from which the Luftwaffe is threatening allied forces in ... See full summary »
Two stories in one - an easygoing British Corporal in France finds himself responsible for the lives of his men when their officer is killed. He has to get them back to Britain somehow. ... See full summary »
In 19th century England, captain George Brummell is an upper-class dandy. He has to leave the army after having insulted the crown prince. This gives him the opportunity to start a smear ... See full summary »
Cut off by the Japanese advance into Burma, Captain Langford (Stanley Baker) and his exhausted British troops take over an enemy-held jungle village. Despite the protests of an elderly ... See full summary »
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Violette Bushell is the daughter of an English father and a French mother, living in London in the early years of World War 2. She meets a handsome young French soldier in the park and ... See full summary »
Agnes, a lonely teenage girl, and her father befriend an escaped convict, named Joseph, who arrives at their farm in Brittany, France. When Joseph develops an attraction to Agnes, her father threatens to break up the union.
This historical adventure is set during the English Civil War. When King Charles I is captured by Roundhead forces led by the tyrant Colonel Judd and his right-hand man Captain Sylvester, ... See full summary »
The incredible but true story of how an impersonator was recruited to impersonate General Montgomery to mislead the Germans about his intentions before the Normandy campaign. Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
The action begins in spring 1944. Specifically, the copy of "The Evening News" read by Harvey at the YMCA is dated Thursday April 6th, 1944. See more »
When ME Clifton James is taken by Harvey to meet Field Marshal Montgomery to gain his approval - and to overcome James' nerves - James is wearing the service dress uniform of a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Pay Corps (which is correct). However, his cap badge bears the post-1953 Queen's Crown rather than the 1910-52 King's Crown which would be correct for the time of the action in the film, 1944. See more »
[A civilian has just bumped into Clifton-James outside a cinema]
Who do you think you are?
Yes, who do you think you are? Monty?
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The story you are about to see is the story of one of the boldest deceptions of our time in which Meyrick Clifton James, late of Her Majesty's Pay Corps, re-enacts his own real-life role. The Producer is deeply grateful to H.E. The Governor and Commander-in-Chief and those member of the Administration and Services at Gibraltar in March 1958, who rendered their invaluable assistance in the reconstruction of certain scenes of this film. See more »
A funny and fascinating story with a great lead from one of many wartime heroes
When the British intelligence service is faced with the challenge of convincing the Germans that they intend to invade from North Africa they are stumped - the attack is clearly going to come across the channel into France, they know it and the Germans' know it. However, when Major Harvey visits a theatre he happens upon an actor who impersonates General Montgomery as part of the show. Within days Corporal Clifton-James is recruited to impersonate Monty in the Mediterranean in order to trick the enemy into thinking an attack is due from that direction.
I only found out about this film after hearing the Goon show's spoof `I was Monty's treble'; at that time I was vaguely aware of the history, but not of the details and not of this film. The film is based on the memoirs of the events from the point of Clifton-James himself and are reasonably factual, despite the fact that the film has an enjoyably comic tone to it for the majority. What it does do very well is to portray him as a real person; his reluctance to take the job, his nerves, his insecurity and so on - at no point is he a strong-jawed, guns-blazing hero, instead he is a man doing what he needed to do in wartime. This really helps the film and is actually complimented by the comic tone.
What helps it even more is the presence of Clifton-James as himself. His performance is very normal - by which I mean he never plays to the fact that he is a hero, he comes across as a very unassuming gentleman, as I find those who serve in the military in a low/medium rank for some time tend to be. In both his book and this film he could have made himself look more heroic and less reluctant but he never does. Mills is excellent in the supporting role and enjoys a more comic touch than many of his war films allow him. The support cast are just as good and it is fun to see so many well known faces including Cecil Parker, Sid James, Leslie Philips and John Le Mesurier sending up the profession of acting! Of course it is Clifton-James who is the draw even alongside these big names; he is a true hero - and it's impossible to forget that as you watch this, these are not fictional risks, he lived this for the greater good.
And it is this that made the film so fascinating to me. Many flag waving films will miss this point, but heroism is often not natural; it often comes forced onto people and is found in the most unlikely of places. In this film we see first hand how an ordinary man with no real confidence or ability is called and rises to the challenge, not because it is his dream or desire but because his country needs him and needs must. Although he plays it quite light here, I will always remember what he did and who he was - I shall be looking for his book on the internet once I finish writing here.
Overall this is a tremendously fun war movie. It lacks action until the end and focuses on Clifton-James as a person as he goes from put upon little actor in the military to one of the most important people in the Normandy landings. A fascinating story, a real inspiration and a funny film to boot
should be seen by as many people for as long as possible. Lest we
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