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Hollow Triumph (1948)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Drama  |  3 February 1949 (Mexico)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,197 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 17 critic

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

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

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

Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HIS SCAR marked them BOTH!!

Genres:

Crime | Film-Noir | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 February 1949 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Murdered Himself  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut of Thomas Browne Henry. See more »

Goofs

The position of the file that John Muller was reading in Dr. Bartok's office file cabinet changes position between shots. See more »

Quotes

John Muller: It's a bitter little world full of sad surprises, and you don't let anyone hurt you.
See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Fate Rules
2 November 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

If you can buy the premise—a hunted guy finds his exact double and takes over the double's life—the rest follows pretty effectively. Writer Dan Fuchs is much underrated and a prime contributor to Hollywood's noir period. The screenplay is more cynical than usual for the genre. Catch how many times comely secretary Evelyn (Bennett) complains about never expecting anything from life; or the guy talking about people being so self-absorbed they don't even know the color of their wife's eyes; and, of course, there's that desolate ending.

Then too, the self-absorption is underscored by the fact that no one even notices that Muller/Dr. Bartok's scar has changed location on his face. Not even those closest to him. The exception is the humble old charwoman, which is why the arrogant Bartok embraces her in a sudden moment of appreciation. I also like the little garage guy's big dream of becoming a sleek ballroom dancer. He has no chance, of course, but it helps him cope. Except for the contrived premise, it's quite a provocative and, at times, touching screenplay.

Frankly, Henreid's a little too impassive in the title role to grab attention. However, the script's pretty strong, so I don't think it really hurts the movie, but it doesn't help, either. Alton's expert noir photography helps lift the visuals to a compelling level. At the same time, I doubt that fate has had a stronger role than in this film, along with an ending among the most devastating in all noir. All in all, the production remains a solid noir entry.


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