Monday, March 21, 2011
The Man Who Never Was (4 stars)
The movie begins in London in 1943, at the height of World War II, shortly before the Allied invasion of Sicily. British Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu (Clifton Webb), realizes that due to the German stronghold at Sicily, the only hope for a successful Allied invasion is to confuse the Germans, to try to get them to think that the invasion will be taking place elsewhere. Thinking that, they will undoubtedly send troops elsewhere, thinning out their ranks on Sicily, resulting in an easier time and less loss of life for the Allied troops.
So, under the code name "Operation Mincemeat," Lt. Cmdr. Montagu puts a brilliant plan into action. He will invent a man...a man who never existed (a man who never was!)...a man who will be an officer in the British Army...a man who will be carrying official documents outlining the invasion of Greece...a man whose dead body will be discovered by German agents after his plane has crashed...a man who will be the key to convincing the Nazi agents that Sicily is not the target after all.
There is much suspense as "Operation Mincemeat" gets underway. They must locate just the right dead body, obtain permission from the family to use it, invent a life and past for the man, transport the body to where it must be found, etc. And when the Germans send a man back to England to verify the legitimacy of the dead man, wow, it's kind of edge-of-your-seat excitement.
The Man Who Never Was is a wonderful World War II drama and also a highly suspenseful espionage film, and now that I've seen the movie a few times, I think I might like to read the book. The movie is out on DVD and should be fairly easy to track down. I hope y'all get a chance to see it.