The Man Who Never Was

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THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS  is a puffy and slow-going WW2 suspenser from 1956, based on fact. In 1943, British Intelligence cooked up ‘Operation Mincemeat’, a plan to deceive the Nazis as to the invasion of Sicily by dropping a body offshore with a briefcase full of phony documents.

Historically, it was a neat ploy, granted, but the movie, directed by Ronald Neame, carries no tension and very little excitement, and is marred badly by the prissified performing from Clifton Webb and Robert Flemyng as the two snide officers who dream up the operation.

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It’s hurt even more by the terrible acting from a woefully miscast Gloria Grahame, a character tossed in for superfluous romantic interest. Stephen Boyd does all right as another fictitious character, a spy for the Germans who attempts to uncover the truth behind the body & briefcase.

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Best thing about the 103 minute affair is the crisp, rich color in Oswald Morris’ camera work, which somehow makes the whole overblown biz seem more important than it is.

Oh, we took Sicily and won the war. Grosses of $3,100,000 put this at 97th place in its year. With Josephine Griffith, Laurence Naismith, Andre Morell, Geoffrey Keen,Cyril Cusack, Michael Hordern, Allan Cuthbertson.

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