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The Man Who Might Have Been: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Herbert Norman

The Man Who Might Have Been: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Herbert Norman

| 1 h 38 min

This feature documentary is a portrait of Herbert Norman, the Canadian ambassador to Egypt who leapt to his death in 1957. During his remarkable career, Norman had been a trusted aide of General MacArthur in post-war Japan and later played a key role in the Suez crisis. But for years, a US Senate subcommittee probed his past while the FBI accumulated a huge file on him, refusing to accept an RCMP investigation that cleared him of being a communist spy. Interviews with key players and dramatizations help reconstruct Herbert Norman's life.

  • writer
    John Kramer
  • director
    John Kramer
  • producer
    Gerry Flahive
  • cast
    Greg Ellwand
  • director of photography
    Andreas Poulsson
  • music composer
    Mark Korven
  • orchestration
    Mark Korven
  • editor
    David Kazala
  • additional editing
    Nick Hector
  • narrator
    Kenneth Welsh
  • sound recordist
    John Martin
  • sound editor
    Alan Geldart
  • production manager
    Elizabeth Klinck
  • location coordinator
    Nobuko Matsushita
    Naila Hamdy
  • camera assistant
    Lori Longstaff
  • research
    Elizabeth Klinck
    Nadine Simunic
  • archival film research
    Tanya Fleet
  • production assistant
    Nadine Simmir
    Tina Hahn
    Enrico Pradal
  • historical consultant
    Roger Bowen
  • historical advisor
    Toshiko Nakano
  • stills photography
    John Walker
  • graphics
    Martha Newbigging
  • translation
    Nobuko Matsushita
    Deirdre Tanaka
  • re-recording
    Peter Kelly
  • foley artist
    Steve Hammond
  • colour correction
    Joanne Rourke
  • performer
    Frank Blanch
    Derek Curwin
    Ernest Dyck
    Lisa Mininni
    Michael O'Neill
  • production supervisor
    Kemp Archibald
  • post-production coordinator
    Russ McMillen
  • post-production assistant
    Peter St. Laurent
  • program administrator
    Ida Di Fruscia
  • program administration assistant
    Lorena Philp
  • casting
    Tait-Ritchie Casting
  • additional casting
    Ivan Sutton
  • props
    Dexter Bonaparte
  • executive producer
    Louise Lore


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Ages 16 to 18

Study Guide - Guide 1

Social Studies - Social History

Herman Norman ended his life in 1959. Although he had been cleared by the RCMP of any wrongdoing, he was continually accused of being a communist spy by the U.S. This documentary takes the viewer through significant world events, from the stock market crash in 1929 to the Cold War. The film can lead students into discussions, debates and research essays about Norman’s life, McCarthyism, and the far-reaching implications of being associated with communism in this era.  

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