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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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 <email@example.com>
Ivar Krueger whose career closely resembled the Wall Street speculators of the Reagan era never invented anything. He was a consummate gambler who by cleverness and guile managed to get a monopoly on matches in Europe and a few other places. Like Paul Kroll in this film he was one step ahead of it all crashing in on him.
But Warren William as Krueger/Kroll was brought down by market forces that overwhelmed him and the rest of the civilized world during the Great Depression of the Thirties. He was not brought down by the fact that he dropped everything to chase Lily Damita off to Salzburg after she gave him the air in a Berlin nightclub. The real Krueger was strictly all about business, he was never making business decisions with his male member.
The future Mrs. Errol Flynn number one was a lovely item however in her prime years and Warren William was a classically trained actor of the old school. That profile of his caused him to be always compared with John Barrymore and against that competition William always fell short. That's a pity because William was a fine actor on his own and his death in 1948 caused him to be forgotten today.
Young Hardie Albright as William's friend and confidante who is frantic as William is unavailable during crisis has the best supporting performance. This is not the real story of Ivar Krueger, it took years for a lot of that to come out. It's not even remotely based on what was known at the time. But it's a good programmer from Warner Brothers taken from a story that was headline news in a Depression dominated world.
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