The Man Who Never Was

1956

Drama / War

71
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 84%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 4

Synopsis


Downloaded times
March 15, 2021

Director

Cast

Cyril Cusack as Corso
Gloria Grahame as Laurel Gray
Joan Hickson as Mrs. Kent
Peter Sellers as Harry
720p.BLU
946.89 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
103 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BlueGuild 9 / 10 / 10

A true-story war film that finds its mark

As the North African campaign of WWII drew to a close it became obvious that the Allies next move would be to invade Sicily. A deception was therefore needed to try to lure away some of the German defences. Inter-services "XX Committee" (XX for double-cross) members Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu, and Squadron Leader Sir Archibald Cholmondley hatched the then unheard of plan of planting a body in the sea off Spain where prevailing currents would surely carry it inshore to the Huelva region, known to be the territory of one of the Nazis' best Spanish agents. The body, dressed as a major in the Royal Marines and apparently killed in a plane crash, would be carrying supposedly top secret documents aimed at convincing any reader that the invasion target was not Sicily at all, but Greece. Montagu himself plays a cameo role in the film as an Air Marshall. The leading role of Montagu is played by Clifton Webb, utterly credible as a British naval officer, while Robert Flemyng, who had himself served conspicuously in WWII and who was awarded the Military Cross and Order of The British Empire, takes on the role of his junior assistant, a composite role based partly on Cholmondley's real-life character and partly on Montagu's real-life assistant.Together they must procure a body that will pass a medical examination to determine the cause of death and they must also create a personality and a past life and history for this man. This is a true-story that avoids battle scenes and big bangs. There are no special effects. It describes a war of stealth and cunning and the cat and mouse game of espionage. It is an atmospheric suspense thriller with Stephen Boyd very effective as the determined Axis agent, Patrick O'Reilly, sent in from Ireland to verify the existence and past life of this man who never was. While the soundtrack is one of Alan Rawsthorne's (The Cruel Sea) better scores, it is nevertheless immediately recognizable as being one of his haunting compositions, unfortunately sounding so much like all his others. It is ably directed by the great and sometimes under-rated Ronald Neame. It is beautifully filmed, as are all of former-cameraman Neame's pictures. The voice of Churchill is provided by the young Peter Sellers who, at that time in 1956, was establishing his versatility and making a name for himself in the BBC radio comedy, "The Goon Show". 20th Century Fox's DVD video and sound quality are excellent, as would be expected in the studio release of one of their own productions. A worthy and entertaining addition to any WWII film collection and if it gives you an appetite for a more in-depth recounting of the true story, Ewan Montagu's 1953 book is still available in both the hardback and paperback editions.

Reviewed by JBThackery 8 / 10 / 10

Very professionally done!

The story is true, which gives it power and makes it more interesting. But what really captivated me was the utterly superb directing. Each scene is so well balanced, and then flows with such continuity into the next, and on and on. You almost feel as if you are right there witnessing it all. But that's not all. The lighting, color, props, nuances, everything in the film, are in perfect harmony at all times. But what of the actors? They indeed render excellent performances. But they, too, are so masterfully directed, they never fail in conveying the mood and tone, even the undertone, from start to finish. Then Gloria Grahame has a weepy scene where she evolves ever so masterfully from recall of emotional trauma, to reliving the trauma, to gradually bringing out true tears at the most perfect "rate of flow." I have never seen better crying! Knowing that she has also played light comedy reveals even deeper dimensions of her acting ability, to see her go from straight-faced to really weeping, then genuine prolonged sobbing. Even if the story were not captivating, the directing and photography will catch your eye and you will not be able to flip the channel until this production masterpiece is over.

Reviewed by ka9fdv 8 / 10 / 10

Fascinating Sleeper!

While I am old enough to have seen many of Clifton Webb's movies, I had never heard of this one. We found it in a video store display. i am delighted to have bought it. The story was streamlined, and well told. No wasted or unnecessary subplots. It was much more intrigue than a usual war movie, and clearly a suspenseful tale. The fact that it is true, only adds to the enjoyment. In spite of it's age, it holds up well. The acting is quite sincere and believable. Gloria Grahame is in one of her best roles. The English cast was mostly unfamiliar, but well chosen. Great and moving ending. I would put as a must see for any WWII or history buff. Most women will sympathize, and not too gory or bloody. But still will appeal to men for the suspense.

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