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Hollow Triumph (1948)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Drama  |  3 February 1949 (Mexico)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,235 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 17 critic

Pursued by the big-time gambler he robbed, John Muller takes a new identity, with ironic results.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Complete credited cast:
John Muller / Dr. Victor E. Bartok
Evelyn Hahn
Frederick Muller
Virginia Taylor
Mabel Paige ...
Herbert Rudley ...
Charles Arnt ...
George Chandler ...
Aubrey - Assistant
Sid Tomack ...
Artell - Manager
Ann Staunton ...
Paul E. Burns ...
Harold - Prison Clerk (as Paul Burns)
Charles Trowbridge ...
Prison Warden
Morgan Farley ...
Howard Anderson


John Muller, medical school dropout and brilliant crook, plans a holdup which goes a little bit wrong, and finds vindictive gambler Rocky Stansyck after him. At the end of his tether, he stumbles onto a lucky chance to assume an impenetrable new identity as psychiatrist Victor Bartok. But irony piles on as Muller finds it's out of the frying pan, into the fire. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


HIS SCAR marked them BOTH!!


Crime | Film-Noir | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 February 1949 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Murdered Himself  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Debut of Thomas Browne Henry. See more »


When Muller is looking over the doctor's bank statement for the month of February, 1948, several entry dates fall on a Sunday when the bank would have been closed - February 1, 8, and 15 to be exact. See more »


[Evelyn kisses Muller by mistake]
Evelyn Hahn: What can I do for you?
John Muller: What more could any reasonable man ask?
See more »


Blue Danube Waltz
Written by Johann Strauß
Whistled by Muller's workmate at the garage
See more »

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User Reviews

Let's Not Forget John Alton
3 June 2004 | by See all my reviews

Yes, "Hollow Triumph" or "The Scar" is a very fine example of film noir. It is tough, gritty, full of duplicity, and identities that shift across screen time. But what really makes this film sing is the vivid low-key photography of John Alton. Yes, perhaps Sekely deserves some credit, but the look is all Alton. "HT" is shot the same year (1948) as two other excellently lensed films by Alton -- "Amazing Mr. X" and "He Walked By Night." Dark sets lit with single light sources, bizarre angles and strong uses of deep focus compositions characterize Alton's work. Alton knew well how to get along with less light, creating the nightmarish worlds we see on the screen. This film's look reminds me of another great noir work -- Welles' 1958 "Touch of Evil" shot by Metty. But as I think of the two cinematographers, Alton seemed to best encapsulate the noir look -- seamy, wet, claustrophobic and dead-ended.

Of worthy mention here too, is: Henreid repeating the cigarette motif we saw earlier in "Now, Voyager," but here given a chain-smoking mania of its own, suggestive of insecurity and metaphoric of his attempts to "cloak" his identity, to shape-shift like a cloud of smoke into something new.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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