The Fake (1953)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  25 September 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 140 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

An American has to guard da Vinci's "Madonna and Child" when it is being shown in Britain. When it arrives he suspects it is not the real painting.



(original story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Mitchell
Mary Mason
Hugh Williams ...
Sir Richard Aldingham
Guy Middleton ...
Henry Mason
Gerald Case ...
Peter Randall
Seymour Green ...
Eliot Makeham ...
Stanley Van Beers ...
Ellen Pollock ...
Miss Fossett
Morris Sweden ...
Arnold Bell ...
Police Inspector
Philip Ray ...
Bearded Tramp
Michael Ward ...
Art Salesman


An American has to guard da Vinci's "Madonna and Child" when it is being shown in Britain. When it arrives he suspects it is not the real painting. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

painting | art theft | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Damgali adam  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the first film that Godfrey Grayson directed which was not made by Hammer Film Productions. See more »


In the brief scene where Paul Mitchell goes to an art gallery looking for a work by Henry Mason, the shadow of the boom microphone can be seen moving back and forth on the upper wall behind Mitchell and the gallery's proprietor. See more »

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User Reviews

Nice little Anglo-American mystery
12 December 2005 | by (Cologne, Germany) – See all my reviews

"The Fake" is a British film made in 1953 and features two American leads, film noir stalwarts Dennis O'Keefe (T-Men, Raw Deal) and Coleen Gray (The Killing).

O'Keefe plays an American detective who is in charge of guarding a masterpiece painting by Leonardo da Vinci during an exhibition at London's famous Tate Gallery. Gray plays the American daughter of a somewhat destitute British painter who never received the artistic recognition he deserved and who arouses O'Keefe's suspicion.

O'Keefe is investigating the theft of two other da Vinci masterpieces that had occurred earlier in Florence and New York. In both cases, the paintings were stolen and replaced with near-perfect forgeries as cover-ups. O'Keefe suspects something similar is bound to happen at the Tate Gallery, which would give him a chance to catch the thief and cash in on a $ 50,000 reward. Problem is, while he suspects Gray's father to be involved in the art forgery scheme, he also falls in love with her.

While certainly no film noir, the movie does use some typical and nice to look at noirish lighting techniques. The film's pace and storytelling is more American than British and O'Keefe and Gray do a credible job, although neither gets much of a chance in terms of character development, not to mention the other actors.

The Tate Gallery footage seems to have been shot on location, which lends the picture an air of authenticity. A splendid touch is the use of variations on Mussorgsky's famous composition "Pictures At An Exhibition" for the musical score.

While "The Fake" is certainly no masterpiece, it does keep the viewer interested while it lasts. Being both an O'Keefe and a Gray fan, I give the movie 7 out of 10 points.

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