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Strange Impersonation (1946)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 387 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 10 critic

A research scientist conducting experiments on a new anaesthetic finds herself being blackmailed by a women she accidentally knocked down with her car; the woman wasn't hurt, but a scheming... See full summary »

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Title: Strange Impersonation (1946)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
William Gargan ...
Dr. Stephen Lindstrom
Hillary Brooke ...
Arline Cole
George Chandler ...
J W Rinse
Ruth Ford ...
Jane Karaski #1
...
Dr. Mansfield
...
Insp. Malloy
Mary Treen ...
Talkative Nurse
Cay Forester ...
Miss Roper (as Cay Forrester)
Dick Scott ...
Police Detective
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Storyline

A research scientist conducting experiments on a new anaesthetic finds herself being blackmailed by a women she accidentally knocked down with her car; the woman wasn't hurt, but a scheming attorney has convinced her she can get a lot of money for the "accident." Meanwhile, the scientist's research assistant, who is in love with her boss' boyfriend, arranges for an explosion in the laboratory that disfigures the scientist's face, in order to take the boyfriend away from her. The scientist has plastic surgery to make her look like the woman who tried to blackmail her - who while struggling with the scientist fell out of a window and was killed - and determines to get back her boyfriend and punish her scheming assistant. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MOST UNUSUAL PICTURE IN YEARS! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Estranho Pesadelo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Nora Goodrich: [after being groped passionately in her laboratory] Stephen, remember - science!
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User Reviews

 
Compact B-noir enlivened by Anthony Mann's direction
13 August 2000 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

"You cannot escape the person you are," says plastic surgeon H.B.Warner, holding up a bony finger. Nevertheless, leading lady Brenda Marshall tries, which puts her in the postwar vanguard of stars doing identity switches [see Bogart in DARK PASSAGE and Stanwyck in NO MAN OF HER OWN]. The script also stirs in elements from A WOMAN'S FACE, plus a dash of mad-scientist hubris, then shakes it into a film noir cocktail.

Marshall plays a research chemist who tries an experimental anesthetic on herself ["nothing can go wrong"], but ends up disfigured, then takes on the identity of extortionist bad girl Ruth Ford. The switch involves several plastic surgery montages, but mostly results in a new coif, a dark rinse, and make-up adjustments.

The plot also plays out the popular postwar subtext of Send-Rosie-the-Riveter-Back-to-the-Kitchen: when scientific professional Marshall turns down a marriage proposal in favor of finishing her own work, she suffers for it at the hands of scheming Hillary Brooke, and then has to fight to get another chance at that marriage ring. This conventional message is somewhat at war with the subversive noir style, but this script includes: the unsuspected hostile motives of a friend, the nightmare chain of events, and the police station third-degree. The novelty here is the woman protagonist, who herself shifts into a femme fatale. In fact, the film centers on a trio of femmes fatales: Marshall and Brooke and Ford. The man involved is William Gargan, relaxed and charming, so hardly an homme fatal.

Republic's studio style-- aimed at simple feel-good entertainment, with invariably stodgy decor---was not exactly a natural home for noir. However, Anthony Mann delivers lean direction, with exceptionally fluid camerawork, some striking high and low angles, and smart playing from all [poor Marshall has to spend a good half-hour with her face wrapped up in bandages]. However, a few years later Mann worked out the situation-- two women tussling over a man--more pointedly, and with lots more shadows, in the superior RAW DEAL.


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