Man Who Never Was

Man Who Never Was

4.2 4
Director: Ronald Neame

Cast: Clifton Webb, Gloria Grahame, Robert Flemyng

     
 

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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, andSee more details below

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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/07/2005
UPC:
0024543173236
Original Release:
1956
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
19,692

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

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
Peter Sellers Voice of Winston Churchill
John Welsh Bank Manager
Ronald Adam Adams
Terence Labrosse Larry
Laurence Naismith Admiral Cross

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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