Operation Mincemeat (2021)
June 21, 2022 11:34 AM - Subscribe

During WWII, two intelligence officers use a corpse and false papers to outwit German troops.

Based on the Ben Macintyre book "Operation Mincement" - the movie tells the partially fictionalized story of Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Matthew Macfadyen) and the other members of the Twenty Committee to convince German High Command that Allied forces are targeting Greece as the first stage of retaking Europe.

Also, lots of references to future Bond staples due to Ian Fleming's presence in the story and operation.

Available for streaming on Netflix in the US.
posted by drewbage1847 (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I wasn't super-happy with the "love triangle" aspect of the story. I found The Man Who Never Was to be more "professional" in its presentation of the operation. I did like the references to Ian Fleming, though.
posted by SPrintF at 1:43 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]

I agree about the love triangle subplot. It wasn’t necessary. The Flemming references seemed a bit too forced. I think a single mention would have served the purpose. All that said, it’s a reasonably entertaining telling of a true story. I knew the basics of the operation, but the show filled-in some nice-to-know gaps.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:58 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]

The things I didn't like:
- the love triangle
- the sister of Glyndwr Michael that didn't exist in real life

I don't recall the German agent in London aspect from reading, so I assumed that was a fabrication

But I did like that it was a fairly heroic tale and the ruse setup was top notch. Love that sort of intelligence operation.
posted by drewbage1847 at 2:20 PM on June 21

I really did not like this movie. The love triangle was terrible. And the tone of the film changes a few times. It almost seemed like three different writers put the film together without collaborating at all. I found it surprisingly bad, despite some good performances.

Had they gone for more of a direct telling of this pretty amazing story I would have liked it much more.
posted by SoberHighland at 2:58 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]

Agreed on the tone issues; it couldn't decide if it was a serious film about an intelligence operation with high stakes, a comedy, or a rom-com. Operation Mincemeat was a very interesting operation during WWII, and deserved a more serious film I think - particularly with this cast, and in light of the ethical questions around using the corpse of a homeless man to conduct the operation. I know they fabricated a sister for the film to try to raise that point, but I think it would have been more impactful if the characters we already knew had their moments of disquiet about it without needing an external prompt.

The Ian Flemming stuff was overwrought; his name just needed to be dropped once.
posted by nubs at 4:01 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]

As a data point, it turns out I listened to Ben Macintyre's audiobook recently, and if memory serves me correctly Glyndwr Michael did have a sister (more than one, in fact), but at the time of his death had no contact with his family.

Further, I believe part of the Mincemeat shenanigans were that the authorities chose not to inform Michael's next of kin of his death, in order to have no impediments to using his corpse.

The book also implies a romance between Montagu and the woman in his office who wrote the letters purportedly from the fictional officer's fiancee, but notes there's no definitive evidence of anything but Montagu's infatuation with her (he kept a copy of a photo she posed for in his bedroom while his wife and kids were in America to avoid the bombings).

The book also makes the point that Fleming was among several novelists or potential novelists in that branch of intelligence, suggesting that the creativity is part of what makes them suitable for the job. But it does basically mention Fleming and then move on.

I noticed the movie on Netflix not long after reading the book, and am interested to see it and compare it to the book.
posted by Gelatin at 6:19 AM on July 27

« Older Movie: The Russia House...   |  Movie: Eve's Bayou... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments