6.9/10
1,069
17 user 9 critic

Hell, Heaven or Hoboken (1958)

I Was Monty's Double (original title)
During World War II, a British actor impersonates Field Marshal Montgomery in order to confuse German intelligence.

Director:

John Guillermin

Writers:

Bryan Forbes (screenplay), M.E. Clifton James (book)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Major Harvey
Cecil Parker ... Col. Logan
Patrick Allen ... Col. Mathers
Patrick Holt ... Col. Dawson
Leslie Phillips ... Major Tennant
Michael Hordern ... Governor of Gibraltar
Marius Goring ... Nielson
Barbara Hicks ... Hester
Duncan Lamont ... Wing Cdr. Bates
Anthony Sagar Anthony Sagar ... Villa - Guard Sergeant
John Gale John Gale ... Flight Lt. Osborne
Kenneth J. Warren Kenneth J. Warren ... F / O Davies (as Kenneth Warren)
James Hayter ... Sgt. Adams
Sidney James ... Porter Y.M.C.A.
Brian Weske ... Despatch Rider
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Storyline

The true story of how an impersonator was recruited to impersonate Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery to mislead the Germans about his intentions before the Normandy campaign. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Gigantic Hoax of World War II See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

6 February 1959 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Hell, Heaven or Hoboken See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The U.S. release title, "Hell, Heaven, or Hoboken", is an American slogan of World War I, attributed to General John J. Pershing. The city in New Jersey was the main point of departure and return for U.S. Expeditionary Forces, and the point of the phrase was that by Christmas 1917 the soldiers would either be dead or have returned in triumph. It is of course hardly relevant to a movie about a senior British Army officer of World War II. U.S. distributors were perhaps aware that Bernard L. Montgomery's personal popularity was not high Stateside. A 1984 New York Times article about him was called "The Ally We Loved To Hate". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[a civilian has just bumped into Clifton-James outside a cinema]
Civilian: Who do you think you are?
[Storms off]
Major Harvey: Yes, who do you think you are? Monty?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: THE SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND. SPRING 1944 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Aside from some sloppy use of stock footage, a smashing good film!
23 September 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a wonderful war film--mostly because it is NOT about fighting and shooting--we certainly have had a lot of that sort of film. I like films that show a different side--the seldom-known acts of heroism such as the film "Dam Busters" or "The Man Who Never Was". In "Hell, Heaven or Hoboken" (a badly renaming of "I Was Monty's Double"), you have the true story about a regular enlisted man and actor who was chosen to imitate General Montgomery--the leader of the British forces during WWII. The plan was to have the double go on a tour of North Africa around the same time as the Normandy invasion in Northern France--so that the Germans would assume the assault would come from the South as well as much later. This film is about the formation and execution of this ultra-top secret plan. It's filled with tension and is very, very watchable--much of it due to good writing, direction and excellent acting (it sure didn't hurt having John Mills and Cecil Parker along with the real-life double, M.E. Clifton-James in this leading role).

I say watch this interesting film--it's a dandy. However, I did have one problem with the film--albeit a minor one and one more for history buffs like myself. The film used a lot of stock footage--most of it reasonably good. However, some of it was way too grainy and scratchy and made the film look cheap in spots--such as the footage of Bf-109s and Spitfires scrambling. Also, SOME of this real-life story is NOT real-life--such as the very exciting finale involving Nazi commandos! Still, a lovely little film and there's an awful lot to like!


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