The Man Who Never Was

( 4 )

Overview

Adapted from the book of the same name by Ewen Montagu and based on fact, The Man Who Never Was stars Clifton Webb as Montagu, a lieutenant commander in the British Navy during World War II, who becomes involved in tricky scheme to fool the Nazis. It entails locating a corpse, establishing an identity for it as an intelligence officer called Major Martin, and having the body float in the water just off the coast of Spain, with military identificaiton and letters in its pockets that describe a forthcoming invasion...
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Overview

Adapted from the book of the same name by Ewen Montagu and based on fact, The Man Who Never Was stars Clifton Webb as Montagu, a lieutenant commander in the British Navy during World War II, who becomes involved in tricky scheme to fool the Nazis. It entails locating a corpse, establishing an identity for it as an intelligence officer called Major Martin, and having the body float in the water just off the coast of Spain, with military identificaiton and letters in its pockets that describe a forthcoming invasion of Greece by the British. That invasion, of course, is entirely fictitious, designed to distract the Nazis from picking up on the Britons' plans to invade Sicily. The scheme is complicated by a young woman named Lucy Sherwood Gloria Grahame, and Patrick O'Reilly Stephen Boyd, a German espionage agent.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
As The Man Who Never Was aptly demonstrates, sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. While some dramatic liberties have been taken in putting this story on the screen, most of it is fact-based, even though it often seems farfetched. And there lies the problem with Man, a good espionage thriller that falls short of being a great one -- and falls short basically because the filmmakers confused realistic truth with cinematic truth. Because Man's story is so incredible, telling it in a very bald-faced, straight-ahead manner has the perverse effect of making it seem a bit contrived. Had director Ronald Neame treated it with a bit more artifice and imagination, it might have been less real, but it would have played more believably. Still, even with this flaw, Man is a film well worth seeing, and not just for espionage buffs. The intricacy of the plotting is intriguing, and when Stephen Boyd arrives to try to determine whether the whole plot is a ploy or not, things get delightfully tense. The cast, with the exception of Gloria Grahame, who is uncharacteristically off here, is a treat. Clifton Webb turns in a commanding change-of-pace performance that is quite impressive, and Boyd is excellent as the German spy. Robert Flemyng is a perfect foil for Webb, and Josephine Griffin's quiet portrayal is highly effective. Wrapped up in Oswald Morris' evocative Cinemascope camerawork, The Man Who Never Was packs a nice punch -- even if one wishes it were a solid knock-out.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/7/2005
  • UPC: 024543173236
  • Original Release: 1956
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 9,776

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clifton Webb Lt. Cmdr. Ewen Montagu
Gloria Grahame Lucy Sherwood
Robert Flemyng Lt. George Acres
Josephine Griffin Pam
Stephen Boyd Patrick O'Reilly
Andre Morell Sir Bernard Spilsbury
Geoffrey Keen Gen. Nye
Michael Hordern Gen. Coburn
Moultrie Kelsall The Father
Cyril Cusack Taxi-driver
Joan Hickson Landlady
William Russell Joe
Richard Wattis Shop Assistant
Allan Cuthbertson Vice-Admiral
Brian Oulton Lt. Jewell
William Squire Lt. Jewell
Miles Malleson Scientist
Gibb McLaughlin Club Porter
Peter Williams Adm. Mountbatten
Michael Brill Doctor
Cicely Paget-Bowman Secretary
Robert Brown French
Everley Gregg Club Matron
Lloyd Lamble Passport Officer
Gordon Bell Customs Officer
Wolf Frees Adm. Canaris
D.A. Clarke-Smith Laurence, a Consul
Ronald Adam Adams
Terence Labrosse Larry
Laurence Naismith Admiral Cross
Peter Sellers Voice Only
John Welsh Bank Manager
Technical Credits
Ronald Neame Director
Nigel Balchin Screenwriter
André Hakim Producer
Muir Mathieson Score Composer
Oswald Morris Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- The Man Who Never Was, Side A: Pan and Scan
1. Main Titles [2:06]
2. To Fool the Enemy [4:02]
3. Flatmates [1:38]
4. Operation Mincemeat [3:20]
5. Pros and Cons [1:59]
6. No Problem [3:36]
7. The Body [1:40]
8. "Dearest Willie" [2:05]
9. Official Letter [2:44]
10. Major Martin [1:46]
11. On Board [3:25]
12. The Launch [5:58]
13. Washed Ashore [:35]
14. Good Job [3:34]
15. Mr. O'Reilly [3:45]
16. Asking Questions [4:27]
17. Under the Microscope [2:20]
18. Bad News [1:26]
19. Nonexistent [3:44]
20. They Also Serve... [2:22]
Side #2 -- The Man Who Never Was, Side B: Widescreen
1. Main Titles [2:06]
2. To Fool the Enemy [4:02]
3. Flatmates [1:38]
4. Operation Mincemeat [3:20]
5. Pros and Cons [1:59]
6. No Problem [3:36]
7. The Body [1:40]
8. "Dearest Willie" [2:05]
9. Official Letter [2:44]
10. Major Martin [1:46]
11. On Board [3:25]
12. The Launch [5:58]
13. Washed Ashore [:35]
14. Good Job [3:34]
15. Mr. O'Reilly [3:45]
16. Asking Questions [4:27]
17. Under the Microscope [2:20]
18. Bad News [1:26]
19. Nonexistent [3:44]
20. They Also Serve... [2:22]
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Menu

Side #1 -- The Man Who Never Was, Side A: Pan and Scan
   Play
   Language Selection
      Languages: English 4.0 Surround
      Languages: English Mono
      Languages; Spanish Mono
      Languages: French Mono
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Theatrical Trailer
Side #2 -- The Man Who Never Was, Side B: Widescreen
   Play
   Language Selection
      Languages: English 4.0 Surround
      Languages: English Mono
      Languages; Spanish Mono
      Languages: French Mono
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Theatrical Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This somewhat fictionalized film (read the true story) is noneth

    This somewhat fictionalized film (read the true story) is nonetheless great  WWII cinema with interesting characterizations by women and civilians.  Stephen Boyd is wonderful as an  Irish spy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Hard to Beat

    The Man Who Nevr Was is one of the best WWII films I've ever seen. Over the years I've become somewhat of a WWII film buff and this is definitely one of my favorites. Clifton Webb gave a fantastic performance, as did the rest of the cast. Each time I watch it I find something new. Because it is so well done, it's worth buying so you can see it more than once.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2004

    Too slow? Never!!!

    Forget about this movie being too slow, this true story does a marvelous job of providing a picture of what it's like to plan an elaborate charade to fool the Nazis Abwehr. Despite Lt. Commander Montagu's every precaution, his plan is threatened at almost every turn but Montague will stop at nothing to so that the lives of thousands of Allied soldiers can be saved. Add a marvelous scene where Gloria Graeme's character, after losing her RAF husband-to-be, dictates a letter from the girlfriend of the 'man who never was', that's worth the whole movie alone and a crafty, daring Nazi agent in Stephen Boyd and you've got a movie that you can watch several times and still enjoy it. By the way the Barnes and Noble review is wrong on two points: 1) The 'man who never was' was never exhumed, he died in a hospital and Montagu picked him up there; and 2) He was not the boyfriend of Gloria Grahame's character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2002

    the best good war movie ever seen

    ithink this is a good movie because it tells the truth about what this film is really about how the nazi war was and its a good educational film and it shows alot of adventure

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews