6.6/10
129
8 user 6 critic

The Pretender (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 11 August 1947 (USA)
Kenneth Holden (Albert Dekker), a banker steals funds from an estate and decides to marry the heiress,Claire Worthington ('Catherine Craig (I)' Qv)) to safeguard his position. He arranges ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(original screenplay), (additional dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kenneth Holden
...
Claire Worthington
...
Dr. Leonard G. Koster
...
Victor Korrin
...
Flo Ronson
...
Fingers Murdock
...
Charles Lennox
...
William the Butler
...
Thomas the Butler
...
Mickie
John Bagni ...
Hank Gordon
Stanley Ross ...
Stranger
...
Dr. Harold Stevens
Greta Clement ...
Margie
Peggy Wynne ...
Miss Chalmers
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Storyline

Kenneth Holden (Albert Dekker), a banker steals funds from an estate and decides to marry the heiress,Claire Worthington ('Catherine Craig (I)' Qv)) to safeguard his position. He arranges for her fiancé to be killed but does not state the fiancé's name. Claire, meanwhile, has a change of heart and marries Holden. Thusly he now becomes the target of the killer and attempts to cancel the deal...except he doesn't know who the hired killer is. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Blueprint for MURDER! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 August 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prisioneiro do Medo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A rare starring role for Catherine Craig. See more »

Goofs

Claire broke off her engagement to Dr. Koster because of his heavy surgery/practice schedule, feeling he lacked time for their relationship. When her husband becomes paranoid and she consults with Dr. Koster, all of a sudden he has days free to devote to helping her, even spending nights and days at the house. See more »

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User Reviews

 
High concept film noir
12 July 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

THE PRETENDER is a neat little film noir with a high concept and atmospheric execution. It was directed by W. Lee Wilder, the lesser-known brother of Billy, and has a great little story that I haven't seen done before. The main character, as played by Albert Dekker, is a banker with the debts mounting up, so he somewhat cheekily uses the funds of a rich woman he knows in order to pay them off.

Dekker isn't happy with the situation so decides to move closer to the woman by paying a gangster to have her lover bumped off, thus paving the way for him. In the end, though, the woman falls for Dekker himself, so his next job is to call off the hit lest he himself is mistaken for the victim. At this point, things get complicated.

A great sense of foreboding and claustrophobia propels THE PRETENDER, which makes it stand out a little from the rest. The copious use of the Theremin machine on the soundtrack is a lovely touch. The cast is undistinguished but Dekker is believable as the thoroughly unlikeable protagonist. There's also a great little role for the delightfully sinister Charles Middleton, a former Ming the Merciless. The highlight of the movie is undoubtedly the climax, which is fantastic stuff.


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