11 user 2 critic

Stolen Identity (1953)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 15 September 1958 (Sweden)
A jealous concert pianist murders his wife's lover, then frames an innocent taxi driver for the crime.


(as Gunther Fritsch)


(screen play), (novel)


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Credited cast:
Toni Sponer
Joan Camden ...
Karen Manelli
Claude Manelli
Adrienne Gessner ...
Mrs. Fraser
Inge Konradi ...
Gisela Wilke ...
Old Doll
Hermann Erhardt ...
Ferdl Heintl
Kruger (as E. von Jordan)
Manfred Inger ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karl Farkas ...
Louis Ousted ...
Jack Mortimer


A jealous concert pianist murders his wife's lover, then frames an innocent taxi driver for the crime.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SUSPENSE REACHES TERRIFYING TENSION (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 September 1958 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Fallet Mortimer  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alternate-language version of Abenteuer in Wien (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

Gorgeous, brimming with potential, but the released version is a jumble
5 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

Stolen Identity (1953)

You want to like this movie for a lot of reasons, one of them being the filming location, actual Austria (Vienna), which is announced at the opening credits. Most of it is at night over wet streets, with modernist architecture and signage mixing with that sense of Old Europe that can be enchanting. It also has an actress I really fell for in "The Captive City," filmed the year before, Joan Camden. It's about murder and fugitives from the law and a confusion about who is who (as the title suggests).

But it stumbles along, a compromise of many intentions. When it plays as a straight up suspense movie, we are captive, and impressed. But the actual events get muddled a little, the editing seems a bit off (running from abrupt to lingering on a scene too long). And Camden, in her role as the young wife of a concert pianist, hardly appears at all. On top of all this is large cast of secondary characters who are range from a hair awkward to a bit caricatured, all of them speaking in slightly compromised English (some Austrian German and subtitles would have been great, but not acceptable at the time).

Director Gunther von Fritsch isn't known in particular for any great accomplishments--he was Austrian, and helped pull together what is an Austrian production in most respects (officially the Austrian Transglobe-Film), but it is infused with American talent and is all in English. von Fritsch was involved as co-director on two interesting (American) films, "This is Cinerama" and "Curse of the Cat People."

All that said, the movie is different than the usual film noirs with the same visual feel. The hero is a bit of an ordinary chap, an American (played by Donald Buka) without papers in a foreign city brimming with assorted characters. And he gets a lucky break in his trying to get out of Vienna, but it's loaded with danger and utter mystery.

Camden, when she appears further in the movie, is at first a disappointment, having to take on a role that isn't naturally her own until later, when she is more genuine. Hang in there! The pianist is a rugged masculine type, Czech-Hungarian actor Francis Lederer, and he holds up the music scenes as much as the music itself. And it's all filmed nicely. So in all, you don't mind watching even if you wonder where the thrust of the plot goes at times.

Expect a fast cascade of interesting scenes, and situations that are really quite tense and dramatic. Many of the scenes are terrific in their use of light, deep shadows, and general photography. But don't expect it to fall together with the verve and elegance it could have had. And it almost became a romance, which would have lifted it considerably.

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