Before WWII, Hollywood actor Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was famous for his big screen heroics; none of those could match his accomplishments as a WWII commando.
Enemies help unify people and serve to justify often severe and unconditional reactions; the best enemies are the most ruthless, or at least those portrayed as such. From England’s King George III to Osama bin Laden, throughout American history, enemies have brought the nation together.
In WWII, the Allies used an elaborate system of spies, double agents, and information leaks to keep the Abwehr, the German spy organization, from anticipating the invasion of Normandy. One of their key strategies was the First U.S. Army Group (FUSAG), the largest army that never existed.
It was the role of a life time. Portray one of history’s most famous generals – Field Marshal Bernard “Monty” Montgomery – on a stage that spanned two continents. The casting, however, had one small drawback. A bad review could cost thousands of lives. A good one could cost your own.