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The Match King (1932)

Approved | | Drama | 31 December 1932 (USA)
Unscrupulous Paul Kroll, starting as a Chicago janitor, uses graft to finance a trip to Sweden where by trickery he gains control of his uncle's small match factory. By expert manipulation ... See full summary »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lili Damita ...
Marta Molnar
...
Babe
Juliette Compton ...
Sonia Lombard
Claire Dodd ...
Ilse Wagner
...
Scarlatti
...
Foreman of Janitors
Spencer Charters ...
Oscar
Murray Kinnell ...
Nyberg
...
Erik Borg
...
Borglund
...
Olaf Christofsen
Robert McWade ...
Mr. Larsen
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Storyline

Unscrupulous Paul Kroll, starting as a Chicago janitor, uses graft to finance a trip to Sweden where by trickery he gains control of his uncle's small match factory. By expert manipulation of everyone and employment of femmes-fatale, he parlays this into a match monopoly, expanding over many countries. Finally he meets a woman so gorgeous she turns his head away from a business that needs constant financial manipulation to survive. Based on the real career of Ivar Kreuger. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 December 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gyufakirály  »

Box Office

Budget:

$165,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warren William's most immediately prior film was titled Three on a Match (1932). That film's title refers to the "superstition" that if three people light their cigarettes with the same match, the third person will soon die. The so-called superstition was actually part of a promotional campaign designed by Ivar Kreuger (the real-life counterpart to William's character) to increase the use of matches by cutting down sharing. See more »

Goofs

In the meeting between Kroll and Scarlatti, Kroll blows out four of the five candles in a candelabra. The very next scene shows two candles still lit. See more »

Quotes

Paul Kroll: Never worry about anything 'til it happens. Then I'll take care of it.
See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz, Op. 34, No. 2 in A minor
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Played when Paul meets Sonia in Warsaw
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User Reviews

 
Stunning Portrayal of One of the Great Rogues of the Twentieth Century.
1 September 2012 | by (warren michigan) – See all my reviews

When Orson Welles made Mr.Arkadin, he was inspired by two remarkable figures: "Merchant of Death" Basil Zaharoff and "Match King" Ivar Krueger. The whole Zaharoff story has never been brought to the screen, though he was a key figure in that delightful British series, Reilly: Ace Of Spies. The even more incredible tale of Ivar Krueger was brought to the screen shortly after his suicide in Paris, in this obscure, but brilliant "roman a' clef" film from the poor man's major studio, Warner Brothers. This film is incredible, Somehow, two minor directors, unknown writers, and an obscure cinematographer combined to bring a film of considerable power and narrative originality to the screen. Did I mention the acting? That is what really drives the film. The still under-rated and obscure Warren William puts in an remarkably subtle performance as the brilliant, ruthless Kroll, who used borrowed (and stolen) money to build a world -wide empire from the manufacture and sale of that most commonplace and useful of objects, the match. Kroll lies, steals ans seduces. He has a brilliant inventor stuck in a booby hatch. He does not even shrink from murder. In the end, he is destroyed by his obsessive love for a Hungarian actress and his own belief in his invulnerability. In short, this is both an interesting example of how the old studio system could put together an stunning story with ordinary talent and of the far too little appreciated artistry of Warren William.


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