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The Man Who Never Was [Blu-ray] [1956]

4.6 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

Price: £18.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Clifton Webb, Gloria Grahame, Robert Flemyng
  • Directors: Ronald Neame
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: UC
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Nov. 2012
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008PV2WBG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,715 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Three times Oscar nominated Clifton Webb, Robert Flemying and Oscar winner Gloria Grahame* star in this highly acclaimed 1956 British war film, based on an incredible true story. In 1943, two intelligence officers from the Royal Navy (Clifton Webb, Robert Flemying) attempt to pull off the most daring espionage mission of the Second World War. The Allies are about to invade Sicily but the Germans must be convinced that their real target is Greece. A briefcase containing plans for the fake invasion is attached to a body dressed as a British major and given an elaborate false identity. The man who never was is then left at sea for the Germans to find. However, Nazi intelligence believes that the find may be just too good to be true and a desperate cat-and-mouse game begins in the heart of war torn London...Directed by three times Oscar nominated Ronald Neame, based on the best-selling book by Ewen Montagu and featuring a superb supporting cast that includes Stephen Boyd, Michael Hordern, Andre Morrell and Cyril Cusack, The Man Who Never Was won the 1957 BAFTA for Best Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture. Digitally restored and remastered, it is now available to own on UK DVD for the very first time.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In the Fifties Britain produced a number of well made WWII movies that recaptured the valor and victories of British arms. The war was past and the civilian deprivations that had lasted well after the war were going away. It was time to celebrate what Britain had accomplished. The Man Who Never Was is among these movies. It tells the true story of Lt. Cmdr. Ewen Montague (Clifton Webb), a barrister who now is in Naval Intelligence, who has been charged to come up with a scheme that will convince the Germans that the Allies will not mount a major effort to invade Sicily. His solution is named Operation Mincemeat, and involves using a body as a decoy. I won't go into the details because the fun is in seeing just how Montague and his small staff, an aide and a secretary, go about it. But having accomplished their assignment, they are faced with the likelihood that the Germans will try hard to verify what they are being led to believe. The second half of the movie is a tight little drama where Montague has to outwit an Irishman who has become a German agent.

Webb is quite effective playing Montague. There's almost none of the prissiness he brought to most of his roles. He's quiet, determined and smarter than many around him. He has a sharp tongue but seldom shows impatience. It's a nice job. Gloria Grahame plays a young woman who provides an important piece of evidence establishing the body's history, and then unknowingly faces the Irish agent.

In my view, this is a very watchable film that keeps moving at a good pace. Ronald Neame was an experienced, effective director who knew what he was doing. Two of his best films and well worth watching are The Horse's Mouth and Tunes of Glory.
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2 Comments 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I agree with the previous reviewers. This is my favourite war movie. B.Chalmers' review mentions detachable collars: they are sold in the film by Richard Wattis (camping it up as usual). There is also a brief but very typically enjoyable appearance by Miles Malleson, and not least, the unlikely (and uncredited) Winston Churchill voice (heard through an open door) by, of all people, Peter Sellers.
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By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Aug. 2005
Format: DVD
The highlights of the book are here. However different people are get credit the different actions and thoughts than in the book.
The first half of the movie is about solving a problem of how to make the Germans think that the invasion will take place in Sicily. The solution is barbaric and unique. The second half of the movie is to keep the Germans from finding out the deception.
One of the most telling scenes is while there are preparing the deception and are in a bunker you hear the bombs and screams that remind you of the urgency and purpose of the movie.
Clifton Webb is Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu, the person that the movie evolves around. Gloria Grahame plays Lucy Sherwood, an alleged girlfriend. The reason she shines is that they put a lot of grease on her face and it shines in the dark.
If you saw Ben-Hur then you may recognize Messala (Steven Boyd) as the spy sent to be sure that Martin is genuine.
And if you are an Agatha Christie Miss Marple fan you will see that Joan Hickson is the apartment owner.
It is a great story and well told. It makes you want to find shirts with separate collars.
Comment 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
It has an eerie quality which perfectly suits the subject matter, and an emotional kick that delivers in every way. Whatever you think of war and the futility of war, and the waste of dying for your country, this movie reminds one that sometimes small sacrifices change the course of fate. It doesn't shy away from the awfulness of what was required. A beautiful film which captures the meaning of life quite perfectly.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This film of Ewen Montagu's book from 1953 of the operation he led during World War II and is the basis of Ben Macintyre's excellent update in 2010 when newly released material which previously could not be published was made public, is as near as accurate as was permitted at the time of release. The acting is restrained and reflects what probably happened without the bells and whistles(bullets and bombs) which would be resonating through the film if made toady and would be wholly inaccurate. The only downside was Gloria Grahame who was in the film simply to sell it to the American market, but even this does not detract from what is a riveting piece of cinema. Stephen Boyd needs a special mention also.
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I first saw this film 60 years ago, as a teenager and never forgot it. What a clever plan. I recently gave my son the book "Operation Mincemeat" by Ben MacIntyre and he was fascinated by it. I ordered it so that I could watch it again (it's several years since I last saw it) and then pass it on to my son.for his opinion. Obviously it had to have some romantic connections to make it interesting for girls in the 1950's (not so long after the end of WWII).
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Considering the age of the film the transfer is not too bad but it is most disappointing that there are no subtitles for the hearing impaired. This is unacceptable in 2013 when the added cost is modest and technical ease of adding subtitles is so easy. A pity as otherwise this would have been a much better buy. The film is otherwise very good, it could and should have been better
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