7.4/10
3,790
63 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:

Ronald Neame

Writers:

Ewen Montagu (book) (as The Hon. Ewen Montagu C.B.E. D.L. Q.C.), Nigel Balchin (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:
Clifton Webb ... Lt. Cmdr. Ewen Montagu
Gloria Grahame ... Lucy Sherwood
Robert Flemyng ... Lt. George Acres
Josephine Griffin ... Pam
Stephen Boyd ... Patrick O'Reilly
Laurence Naismith ... Adm. Cross
Geoffrey Keen ... Gen. Nye
Moultrie Kelsall ... The Father
Cyril Cusack ... Taxi Driver
André Morell ... Sir Bernard Spilsbury
Michael Hordern ... Gen. Coburn
Allan Cuthbertson ... Vice-Admiral
Joan Hickson ... Landlady
Terence Longdon ... 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:

The most fiendish plot ever conceived! The most amazing "human being" ever created! The most diabolical phantom-- See more »

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German | Spanish | Latin

Release Date:

9 May 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Mann, den es nie gab See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sumar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints)| Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright has resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that anyone can duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duplicated from second, third or more generation copies of the film. 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

Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu: Suppose I wanted to put a dead body in the sea, and let it float ashore, and have it accepted by the people who find it as the victim of an air crash at sea. What sort of body would I need?
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 The Ministry of Time: Tiempo de espías (2017) 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

 
Interesting!
16 July 2002 | by EmerencianoSee all my reviews

This is a great movie about WWII. I know we don't have scenes of battles and violence, but maybe this is one of this movie's advantages. I don't think blood and shots are really necessary to make a film about a war. Wars are not only made of guns and soldiers, but also of officers who make plans and articulate attacks while they're in secret rooms using every kind of ways to confuse the enemy. In this movie it is decided that British forces would use a corpse with false documents attracting Nazis attention to Greece while the Allied Forces would land in Italy. Easy, but fascinating plot! Watch it!

My rate 8/10


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