BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The most diabolical phantom

The Man Who Never Was
(1956) Dir: Ronald Neame

Based on the WWII mission Operation Mincemeat was part of the wide spread deception plan Operation Barclay, The BAFTA winning The Man Who Never Was tells the story of "The most diabolical phantom" - an, albeit dead, anonymous victim of peumonia gains a new identity as Major William Martin, Royal Marines. The corpse is dumped at sea with false top secret documents containing fake letters falsely stating that the Allied attack would be against Sardinia and Greece rather than Sicily, the actual point of invasion. Major Martin was deliberately left to wash up on a beach in Punta Umbría in Spain...

The plot thickens and tensions grows in this good old fashioned World War 2 thriller and went on to be known as "the most successful strategic deception in the history of warfare"

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