Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Man Who Never Was (1956)

Dir: Ronald Neame

A World War II film of a different kind, this one shows absolutely no war footage. It's a true story about a plot by the British to try and fool the Nazis into thinking that they would be attacking Greece instead of Sicily. Clifton Webb stars as Lt. Cmdr. Montagu (the screenplay was based on Montagu's novel) whose come up with the idea to mislead the Germans. We follow the plan from it's conception to execution and then into the Nazi efforts to confirm the information. Everything is told in great detail with no questions left unanswered. There are some moments that are probably played for dramatic tension, but everything works. The film could be considered a bit dry but it's thoroughly engaging with Neame's no-nonsense approach to the story. Gloria Grahame also stars, in one of the only color films I have seen her in, as a friend to Montagu's secretary that unknowingly plays a huge help in the plan. The DVD is bare bones but certainly worth watching.


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