With some considerable dramatic license the story of one of the best intelligence operations of World War II is told in I Was Monty's Double. The film is based on the book by actor F.E. Clifton James who plays himself and Bernard Law Montgomery as he did for a fateful few weeks in World War II.
John Mills and Cecil Parker two officers from British Intelligence become James's handlers in the terminology we would use today. Mills while attending a service variety show sees James do a walk on as Field Marshal Montgomery and is struck by the audience reaction to him. The germ of an idea comes to Mills to have the actor play Montgomery for the widest audience possible, to give him a grand tour of the various fronts of the war. This in order to divert Nazi attention from the United Kingdom where the cross channel invasion is being prepared and Montgomery very much a part of the planning. In fact you can see some of his real role there in the TV mini-series Ike and in The Longest Day.
Of course James carried the masquerade off beautifully. My favorite scene is James at a press conference in Cairo with allied war correspondents where he's at first hesitant with this cynical bunch, but grows in confidence and wins them over with a speech that you might have seen the real Bernard Law Montgomery deliver during his lifetime.
Two others who give noteworthy performances in the film are Michael Hordern as the Governor General of Gibraltar and Marius Goring who is a German agent whom Mills, Parker and James deliberately give misinformation to in order to confirm how effective the plan is working.
The whole business in the end is pure fiction which I won't reveal, but that doesn't detract from making this a first rate account of an amazing adventure. One even Stephen Spielberg would envy.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this