Major wars are not won or lost by one major battle or moment but more often than not through a number of smaller victories or defeats. Whilst most people are aware of the major events of World War II, it’s often the lesser known stories which provide the most fascination. D-Day has been portrayed on film countless times, most graphically in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. However, John Guillermin’s film I Was Monty’s Double tells the story of a clever ploy which made the invasion possible.
As the time for the D-Day landings approaches, Major Harvey (John Mills) has a brainwave when he sees an actor (M. E. Clifton James) playing Field Martial Montgomery on the stage. Along with another intelligence officer, Colonel Logan (Cecil Parker), they hatch a plot to throw the Germans off the scent. They enlist the rather nervous lookalike to impersonate the great leader and help the Allies win the war.
I Was Monty’s Double uses comedy and drama to tell a classic British World War II yarn. It’s light and breezy, with the likes of Sid James, Leslie Phillips and John Le Mesurier all making cameos, but a serious undertone is never too far away. The story becomes even more profound when you realise that M. E. Clifton James is playing himself. I Was Monty’s Double is a tale of bravery and cunning which is guaranteed to lift your spirits.
- New interview with historian Terry Crowdy, author of Deceiving Hitler
- John Mills Home Movie footage
- Monty’s Double (1947)
- Behind the Scenes stills gallery
I Was Monty’s Double is released on DVD, Blu-ray and Download by Studiocanal’s Vintage Classics on 10 June.