Up 35,119 this week

The Magnificent Fraud (1939)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 11 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Add a Plot


0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1165 titles
created 24 Aug 2011
a list of 6727 titles
created 8 months ago
a list of 547 titles
created 7 months ago
a list of 2221 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Magnificent Fraud (1939)

The Magnificent Fraud (1939) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Magnificent Fraud.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After a young woman is coerced into prostitution and her brother framed for murder by an organized crime syndicate, retribution in the form of an ape visits the mobsters.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Ellen Drew, Robert Paige, Paul Lukas
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When an eccentric family meets in their uncle's remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.

Director: Elliott Nugent
Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, John Beal
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Producer Bob Temple, who's brought an American show to London, loves his star Diana, but she won't take him seriously as a lover. To show her, he picks up stranger Lady Arlington, whose ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Jack Benny, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold
Willie & Phil (1980)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Remake of Jules et Jim following the experiences over a decade of two friends who fall in love with the same woman, enjoyably satirising the 70's through the search by the three ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Michael Ontkean, Margot Kidder, Ray Sharkey
Union Pacific (1939)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff
Adventure | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Amid the anarchy of China, an American mercenary tangles with a ruthless warlord.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Akim Tamiroff
The Pickle (1993)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Harry Stone (Danny Aiello), a formerly top notch director, has had three disastrous movies in a row. Facing dismissal from the top perch of Hollywood and finacial ruin from back taxes, he ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Danny Aiello, Dyan Cannon, Clotilde Courau
Tempest (1982)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A sobering mid-life crisis fuels dissatisfaction in Philip Dimitrius, to the extent where the successful architect trades his marriage and career in for a spiritual exile on a remote Greek ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Susan Sarandon
Coast to Coast (TV Movie 2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Judy Davis, Selma Blair
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A beautiful but greedy woman teams up with a small-time hoodlum to become two of the most wanted criminals in the country.

Director: Louis King
Stars: Lynne Overman, Patricia Morison, J. Carrol Naish
Yippee (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Paul Mazursky journeys to a small town in the Ukriane, to witness and participate in a three day celebration by over 25,000 singing, dancing, praying, and emotionally elevated Chassidic Jews.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Paul Mazursky
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Sinclair Hill
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Ian Hunter, Frederick Kerr


Credited cast:
Jules LaCroix / President Alvarado
Sam Barr
Mme. Geraldine Genet
Patricia Morison ...
Claire Hill
Ralph Forbes ...
Harrison Todd
Steffi Duna ...
Ernest Cossart ...
George Zucco ...
Dr. Luis Virgo
Robert Warwick ...
General Pablo Hernandez
Mendietta Garcia
Robert Middlemass ...
Abner Biberman ...
Dr. Diaz
Barbara Pepper ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maude Eburne ...
Señora Moreno (scenes deleted)


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

latin america







Release Date:

6 November 1939 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Caviar for His Excellency  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Remade as Moon Over Parador (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

About 998 faces short...
13 March 2004 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Despite what we think to the contrary, silent-film actor Lon Chaney was not widely known as 'The Man of a Thousand Faces' during his lifetime. In fact, I can think of only one Chaney film (an obscure one: 'The Trap') which used the 'Thousand Faces' tagline in its advertising. When Paramount released 'The Magnificent Fraud' in 1939, less than a decade after Chaney's death, the posters for this film hailed its star Akim Tamiroff as 'The Man of a Thousand Faces' ... a decision which strongly indicates that audiences in 1939 weren't expected to link that slogan to Lon Chaney.

For all his talents and broad acting range (hampered by his thick Russian accent), Tamiroff was not an especially protean actor, so it's surprising to see him touted as a Chaney-like master of disguise. However, in 'The Magnificent Fraud', Tamiroff is cast as Jules LaCroix, a stage actor whom (we are told) is indeed in Chaney's league. Within the dialogue of this movie, LaCroix is hailed as 'the man of a thousand faces' ... which, again, indicates that audiences were not expected to connect that tagline to Lon Chaney.

Don Miguel Alvarado is the president of a politically unstable South American nation, in the process of negotiating an important business deal with United States interests. At a crucial moment, a bomb-throwing assassin kills Alvarado ... but visiting Yankee Sam Barr manages to keep the assassination hushed up. It's vital that the negotiations continue. If Alvarado's death becomes known, the government will be overthrown by revolutionaries.

Barr persuades LeCroix to impersonate Alvarado until the deal goes through. Since LeCroix (beardless) and Alvarado (heavily bearded) are both played by Akim Tamiroff, it's no surprise that LeCroix is able to impersonate Alvarado perfectly!

In the early scenes as the actual Alvarado, Tamiroff's attempts at a Latin American accent are less than persuasive. In his later scenes, as LeCroix impersonating Alvarado, Tamiroff has precisely the same accent. It would have been more interesting if the false Alvarado's voice had been almost but not quite the same as the real one's, to heighten suspense by showing us that LeCroix's disguise was less than perfect.

Matters are not helped by the fact that the basic premise of this film is recycled from another Paramount film made only five years earlier: '30-Day Princess'. In both films, an American actor is persuaded to impersonate a foreign dignitary until an important deal goes through. 'Magnificent Fraud' takes that premise in rather a different direction from the earlier film, but with inferior results.

There are some good supporting performances here, although I disliked the romantic subplot involving Lloyd Nolan and Patricia Morison. I can tolerate Mary Boland in small doses, but her presence in the same movie with Maude Eburne (whom I loathe and despise) makes for at least one yenta too many. Barbara Pepper is good in a small role. Robert Warwick's stage-trained voice is impressive, but he is miscast as a Latin American. Robert Florey's direction is excellent, but let down by William Mellor's photography.

For all of its flaws, 'The Magnificent Fraud' is vastly superior to its 1988 remake 'Moon Over Parador', which tried to put its protagonist (Richard Dreyfuss) into suspenseful situations ... but framed those situations with a flashback structure which tipped us off that Dreyfuss would survive at the end. I'll rate 'Magnificent Fraud' 5 out of 10 ... but there was only one true Man of a Thousand Faces, and his name was Lon Chaney.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Magnificent Fraud (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: