7.0/10
1,021
16 user 9 critic

Hell, Heaven or Hoboken (1958)

I Was Monty's Double (original title)
During World War II, a British actor impersonates Field Marshal Montgomery in order to confuse German intelligence.

Director:

John Guillermin

Writers:

Bryan Forbes (screenplay), M.E. Clifton James (book)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Cruel Sea (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The World War II adventures of a British convoy escort ship and its officers.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, John Stratton
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Biopic of RAF Group Captain Douglas Bader who, after having lost both legs, flew a British fighter plane during WW2.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Muriel Pavlow, Lyndon Brook
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

True story of three British POWs and their attempt to escape from Nazi Germany.

Directors: Jack Lee, Ian Dalrymple
Stars: Leo Genn, David Tomlinson, Anthony Steel
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During World War II, German ships are "safely" docked upriver at Bordeaux, but the British send a team of kayakers to attack them.

Director: José Ferrer
Stars: José Ferrer, Trevor Howard, Dora Bryan
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This "story of a ship", the British destroyer H.M.S. Torrin, is told in flashbacks by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

Directors: Noël Coward, David Lean
Stars: Noël Coward, John Mills, Bernard Miles
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During World War II in North Africa, a medical field unit must cross the desert in their ambulance in order to reach the British lines in Alexandria.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: John Mills, Anthony Quayle, Sylvia Syms
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of the final years of the respected World War II German general, Erwin Rommel.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: James Mason, Cedric Hardwicke, Jessica Tandy
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The attack by British submarines on the German battleship "Tirpitz" in a Norwegian fjord during World War II.

Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: John Mills, John Gregson, Donald Sinden
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

All leave is cancelled so that a British submarine can be sent after a new German warship. They chase it so far that they have no fuel to get home.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: John Mills, Louis Bradfield, Ronald Millar
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Allied prisoners of various nationalities pool their resources to plan numerous escapes from an "escape-proof" German P.O.W. camp housed in a Medieval castle.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: John Mills, Eric Portman, Christopher Rhodes
Dunkirk (1958)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A dramatization of the British Expeditionary Force's 1940 retreat to the beaches of France and the extraordinary seaborne evacuation that saved it from utter destruction by Nazi Germany.

Director: Leslie Norman
Stars: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Lee
Odette (1950)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During WW2, a French woman living in England volunteers to work for British Intelligence in Nazi-occupied France.

Director: Herbert Wilcox
Stars: Anna Neagle, Trevor Howard, Marius Goring
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Major Harvey
Cecil Parker ... Col. Logan
Patrick Allen ... Col. Mathers
Patrick Holt ... Col. Dawson
Leslie Phillips ... Major Tennant
Michael Hordern ... Governor of Gibraltar
Marius Goring ... Nielson
Barbara Hicks ... Hester
Duncan Lamont ... Wing Cdr. Bates
Anthony Sagar Anthony Sagar ... Villa - Guard Sergeant
John Gale John Gale ... Flight Lt. Osborne
Kenneth J. Warren Kenneth J. Warren ... F / O Davies (as Kenneth Warren)
James Hayter ... Sgt. Adams
Sidney James ... Porter Y.M.C.A.
Brian Weske ... Despatch Rider
Edit

Storyline

The true story of how an impersonator was recruited to impersonate Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery to mislead the Germans about his intentions before the Normandy campaign. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Gigantic Hoax of World War II

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

6 February 1959 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Hell, Heaven or Hoboken See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

M.E. Clifton James denied that there was a kidnap attack on him in reality, and that this strand was added for this movie. See more »

Goofs

Gibraltar is seen to have prominent fluorescent lighting strung across the street. This wouldn't have existed at the time of the action. See more »

Quotes

[a civilian has just bumped into Clifton-James outside a cinema]
Civilian: Who do you think you are?
[Storms off]
Major Harvey: Yes, who do you think you are? Monty?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The story you are about to see is the story of one of the boldest deceptions of our time in which Meyrick Clifton James, late of Her Majesty's Pay Corps, re-enacts his own real-life role. The Producer is deeply grateful to H. E. The Governor and Commander-in-Chief and those member of the Administration and Services at Gibraltar in March 1958, who rendered their invaluable assistance in the reconstruction of certain scenes of this film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Modest hero
5 January 2014 | by GoingbeggingSee all my reviews

At the fag-end of the 50's, a generation of long-demobbed soldiers were still trying to cut it in uniform, in a spate of cheap black-and-white war films. More convincing than most was the unknown star of this true story, a minor Australian actor who had been rejected by the entertainment services, and was reluctantly pen-pushing in the pay office, when someone noticed that he was a dead ringer for Montgomery.

This was in the run-up to D-Day, when the allies were desperate to draw enemy attention away from Normandy as the obvious invasion zone. Might a Monty-lookalike be able to fool German intelligence by touring North Africa, as though preparing for a big Mediterranean landing instead?

The actor in question, M.E. Clifton James, is secretly employed as a driver on Monty's staff, in order to get close enough to study his speech and mannerisms. But he doubts his own ability to replicate the character and personality of the great man, not least because 'Jimmy' is a chain-smoking alcoholic. Eventually, jolly optimist John Mills persuades him to go through with it, and suddenly he's stepping off a plane in Gibraltar, under scrutiny from enemy agents (one of them brilliantly sinister, as played by Marius Goring), as well as certain officers who remember Monty from before the war.

Defying many attempts on his life, Jimmy overcomes his desperate shyness, and learns to take massed salutes from whole armies. Then all too soon, D-Day has come and gone, his one brief star-performance is over, and it's back to the humble pay office. Except... they felt it necessary to bolt-on a false ending, about which we can reveal nothing, except that it never happened.

As for the real-life outcome, we have to face the disappointing fact that it was only part of a much larger decoy operation, which did throw the enemy into some confusion, but reports of Jimmy's own effort reaching Hitler's desk seem to be wishful thinking.

The film displays some recognisable weaknesses of those low-budget productions. The over-long opening section is taken up with John Mills' various flirtations, whose only consequence for the story is that his humourless boss (Cecil Parker) decides to replace their seductive secretary with the ugly-beautiful Barbara Hicks, in some ways more arresting. And the way Mills and Parker chat freely in public about top secret plans will grate on the ear of anyone who has worked in intelligence. No war-film of its day was complete without the stuffed-shirt spoilsport Allan Cuthbertson, who duly pops-up here, as does the perennial plug-ugly sergeant Anthony Sagar. Jimmy's one meeting with Monty is awkwardly dodged; we simply cut away from him on the steps of the general's caravan, although split-screen techniques had long since enabled an actor to shake hands with his own double (try the 1937 'Prisoner of Zenda').

None of this really detracts from the joy of the film, principally the deeply-believable performance of a professional actor, acting himself acting Monty. Sympathy and charm shine through this modest man, who seems to have been shabbily treated after the war, when he was reduced to the dole. Hopefully this popular film brought a little benison for the five short years that remained to him.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed