6.8/10
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46 user 24 critic

Hollow Triumph (1948)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Drama | 3 February 1949 (Mexico)
Pursued by the big-time gambler he robbed, John Muller takes a new identity, with ironic results.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (based upon a novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Evelyn Hahn
...
Frederick Muller
...
Virginia Taylor
...
Swangron
Mabel Paige ...
Charwoman
...
Marcy
...
Coblenz
...
Aubrey - Assistant
Sid Tomack ...
Artell - Manager
...
Jerry
Ann Staunton ...
Blonde
...
Clerk (as Paul Burns)
...
Deputy
...
Howard Anderson
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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!! See more »

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Jack Webb. See more »

Goofs

When John Muller attempts to duplicate Dr. Bartok's scar on his own face, he copies from a photograph of Dr. Bartok. Dr. Bartok's scar is on the left side of his face, so to Muller it appears on the right side of the photo, same as when you look at someone's face, their left ear will be on the right side of your field of vision. Muller simply copies what he sees and cuts a scar on the right side of his face. He is not seeing his face as others see it - he is seeing a mirror image. As a first time viewer I said "Aha! He is making the scar on the wrong side." Then he goes to the photo lab to retrieve the negative and after he leaves, the two men in the photo lab talk about how the photo was printed wrong, by reversing the negative, making the picture a "mirror image" of Dr. Bartok. So I said "Aha! His mistake in incorrectly copying the mirror image actually put the scar on the correct side of his face - the right side." Yet after Muller kills Dr. Bartok he discovers to his horror that the scar is on the left side of Dr. Bartok's face. The rest of the movie plays out based on the premise that Muller's scar is on the wrong side. The movie would have made sense with just the mirror scene or just the reversed negative scene. Either of those standing alone would have resulted in a mistake, but by including both, Muller would have had the scar on the correct side of his face, and he might have avoided his tragic fate. It seems the director, producer and studio never caught the mirror image error, or simply thought the audience would mentally make the same error Muller did when looking in the mirror. See more »

Quotes

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

 
Henried in noir sleeper
5 June 2008 | by (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) – See all my reviews

Paul Henried plays a career criminal, who gets the usual release from prison with the assurance from the warden that he'll be back. And, of course, the warden was at least partly right, as Henried's character's first move is to reassemble his gang and rob a casino. This is a great part for Henried, who plays it so well he makes it seem as if he were born to play a bad guy. He has a great face for the camera to zoom in on in those darkly lit scenes. As well, the fairly ingenious story keeps one watching, as he assumes the identity of a successful psycho-analyst who he was a dead ringer for. It gives us a look at the criminal duplicity of that situation, with some amusing scenes of him in the office with patients on the couch, though the part played by Joan Bennet, as the office secretary, needed to have been more developed to meet the needs of her situation. Nonetheless, the film is very well directed, and keeps the conclusion a secret all the way up to the end.


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