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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:
Dennis O'Keefe ...
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?


The first film of Billie Whitelaw. 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

Weak on every level--even the suspense is canned, like routine t.v.
25 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Fake (1953)

You might give this a try if you really like lightweight entertainment with only a shred of suspense. There is a lot of chitchat, and a hint crime drama, not the other way around. When there is a fistfight, it isn't convincing, and when love is in the air, it hovers and never lands.

So really we have a fairly routine movie with some larger intentions. It's very British for the period. It almost feels like a wan play the way the action is worked into small scenes and lots of talk. And to be honest, parts of it are just so implausible it makes the whole enterprise wobble.

At heart is a painting in a London museum (the Tate) that is in danger. This attracted me as an art historian, and I was curious in part to see the museum, and the supposed security at the time. The key figure is an unlikely American who wanders into the plot, half the time carrying a precious painting in one hand as if it was a valise. Meanwhile, a robbery is under way and no one seems to notice. People wander the hallowed halls of the museum at all hours and nothing much is suspected. An intruder is discovered in the dead of night—but how did he get there, and is it enough to shout, "Hey you!" How about sounding an alarm or calling the police?

So that's the upshot. Leading man Dennis O'Keefe seems to be a William Holden wannabe, and Colleen Gray as his female counterpart is a hair more believable but not especially compelling. The cinematography is routine, and script a bit forced. In all, it's a struggle to appreciate much here.

The verdict? Not a great movie on any level.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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