The incredible but true story of how an impersonator was recruited to impersonate General Montgomery to mislead the German's about his intentions before the North Africa campaign. Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
A match is struck to light up the guardroom. It stays alight for almost 20 seconds and barely burns down at all. 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 »
"I Was Monty's Double" is based on the book of the same name, by M.E. Clifton James, an Australian actor in the service who is drafted to impersonate General Montgomery. Though some dramatic license is taken, what makes the film fun is that James plays himself and the historical events are true.
In order to make the Nazis believe that D-Day is taking place in Gibraltor, James, who makes an appearance at the end of a show as Montgomery, is asked to impersonate the general. He bears a strong resemblance - so strong, in fact, that when he comes out onto the stage, he gets a standing ovation and rousing cheers. His recruiters, played by John Mills and Cecil Parker, are hoping the troops have the same reaction. They get him assigned as a driver so that he can observe Montgomery at close quarters and copy his mannerisms. James, however, finally tells Harvey and Logan (Mills and Parker) that he can't do it. He's never led a command. Logan is dumbstruck. "You won't be doing any actual commanding," he objects. A consummate actor, James replies, "You don't understand. I have to have it inside." However, he's so good that he is able to find the ego and leadership qualities internally to carry it off.
The film is directed by John Guillerman with emphasis on the humor. Marius Goring plays a Nazi spy who thinks he's in tight with the Allies on Gibraltor. "We feed him all kinds of garbage," the top brass says. "He's faster than calling Berlin." The whole bit at the end is fiction, but it doesn't deter from a fascinating story. Highly recommended.
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