IMDb > The Match King (1932)
The Match King
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The Match King (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 42% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
31 December 1932 (USA) See more »
Unscrupulous Paul Kroll, starting as a Chicago janitor, uses graft to finance a trip to Sweden where... See more » | Add synopsis »
(3 articles)
Forbidden Hollywood Volume 10
 (From Trailers from Hell. 25 June 2016, 7:43 PM, PDT)

Warren William—On The Air
 (From Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy. 1 June 2015, 11:56 AM, PDT)

New York's "Essential Pre-Code" Series: Week 3
 (From MUBI. 4 August 2011, 12:48 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Warren William Sparks Taut Crime Drama See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Warren William ... Paul Kroll

Lili Damita ... Marta Molnar

Glenda Farrell ... Babe

Juliette Compton ... Sonia Lombard

Claire Dodd ... Ilse Wagner

Harold Huber ... Scarlatti

John Wray ... Foreman of Janitors
Spencer Charters ... Oscar
Murray Kinnell ... Nyberg

Hardie Albright ... Erik Borg

Alan Hale ... Borglund

Edmund Breese ... Olaf Christofsen
Robert McWade ... Mr. Larsen
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Oscar Apfel ... Uncle Gustav (uncredited)

Irving Bacon ... Messenger with Bracelet (uncredited)

Harry Beresford ... Christian Hobe (uncredited)

Ed Brady ... Prisoner Wanting Match (uncredited)
Wallis Clark ... Erickson's Associate (uncredited)

John Elliott ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Frank Ellis ... Cowboy in Prologue (uncredited)
Alphonse Ethier ... Uncle Gustav (uncredited)
Antonio Filauri ... Italian Banker (uncredited)

John Ince ... Match Company Executive (uncredited)
Amo Ingraham ... Chorus Girl asking for a match (uncredited)
DeWitt Jennings ... Bodensky (uncredited)
Lee Kohlmar ... Jeweler (uncredited)
Alphonse Martell ... Frenchman Lighting Match (uncredited)

George Meeker ... Erickson (uncredited)
Greta Meyer ... Trudi, Marta's Maid (uncredited)
Torben Meyer ... Hans, Headwaiter (uncredited)
Harold Minjir ... Messenger (uncredited)
Bodil Rosing ... Frau Necher (uncredited)
Rolfe Sedan ... In-Room Waiter (uncredited)

Charles Sellon ... Match Company Executive (uncredited)

John St. Polis ... Banker (uncredited)
Frederick Sullivan ... Banker (uncredited)

Sheila Terry ... Blonde Telephone Operator (uncredited)

Wilhelm von Brincken ... Marta's Companion (uncredited)

Directed by
Howard Bretherton 
William Keighley 
Writing credits
Einar Thorvaldson (novel)

Houston Branch  and
Sidney Sutherland 

Produced by
Hal B. Wallis .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Bernhard Kaun (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Robert Kurrle 
Film Editing by
Jack Killifer 
Art Direction by
Anton Grot 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
Sound Department
Bill Walling Jr. .... sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Al Green .... second camera operator (uncredited)
John Shepek .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Dolph Thomas .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor
W. Franke Harling .... composer: love theme (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
79 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
USA:Approved (PCA #2632)

Did You Know?

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 »
Continuity: 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 »
Paul Kroll:Never worry about anything 'til it happens. Then I'll take care of it.See more »
On the Beach at WaikikiSee more »


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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Warren William Sparks Taut Crime Drama, 3 March 2001
Author: Ron Oliver ( from Forest Ranch, CA

A totally unscrupulous cad plots & schemes to finally become THE MATCH KING of the world, oblivious to the many lives he's destroyed. But with blackmail & murder part of his personal arsenal, how long can it be until avenging fate topples him from his throne?

Warren William dominates this splendid, albeit neglected, crime drama. As in some of his other roles of the same period, William displays his talent for portraying characters simultaneously repulsive & appealing. With his sophisticated good looks & deep, interesting voice, Warren William was the perfect embodiment of the corporate climber, the crook, the conniver. It is a shame this fine actor is generally forgotten today.

Although the plot is firmly centered around William, his co-stars all do a fine job. Brassy Glenda Farrell appears all too briefly as William's first betrayed lover; this was an actress who could really light up the screen, but she's only given two scenes here. Lili Damita is fetching as the movie actress who attracts William. Hardie Albright is a younger relative of William's who gets pulled into his orbit. Blink your eyes and you'll miss Alan Hale as a timber baron. Movie mavens will recognize Charles Sellon as an elderly Match Company executive.

The film makes good use of an intriguing series of short opening scenes, showing various classes of people around the world using that indispensable enabler of civilization, the match.

There was a real life Match King upon whom this drama was based. Ivar Kreuger (1880-1932) was a financial genius whose Swedish Match Company controlled more than half the world's output of matches by 1928. This was accomplished through amazingly speculative deals involving long-term loans to poor nations desiring US dollars, in exchange for match monopolies. As a result, Kreuger's empire grew immensely rich and diversified in many ways. The bubble was soon to burst. World wide depression hit in 1929 and economic pressures mounted steadily. Rather than wait for his holdings to collapse in bankruptcy, Kreuger shot himself in a Paris hotel room on March 12, 1932, aged 52. Subsequent investigations showed his companies to be riddled with fraud & forgery.

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