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The Great Impostor (1961)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 629 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

Based on a true story, a bright young man who hasn't the patience for the normal way of advancement finds that people rarely question you if your papers are in order. He becomes a marine, a... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: The Great Impostor (1961)

The Great Impostor (1961) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. / Martin Donner / Dr. Gilbert / Ben. W. Stone / Dr. Joseph Mornay / Robert Boyd Hammnd
...
Father Devlin
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Capt. Glover - HMCS Cayuga
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Warden J.B. Chandler
...
Pa Demara
Joan Blackman ...
Lt. Catherine Lacey
...
Abbott Donner
Robert Middleton ...
R.C. Brown
...
Ma Demara
Sue Ane Langdon ...
Eulalie Chandler
Larry Gates ...
Cardinal
Mike Kellin ...
Clifford Thompson
...
Barney
...
WAC Lieutenant
...
Hotchkiss (as Richard Sargent)
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Storyline

Based on a true story, a bright young man who hasn't the patience for the normal way of advancement finds that people rarely question you if your papers are in order. He becomes a marine, a monk, a surgeon onboard a Canadian Warship, and a prison warden. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Will the Real Fred Demara Please Stand Up??

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 February 1961 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Impostor  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Curtis as Demara is shown boarding HMCS Cayuga (a Tribal Class destroyer) which was the actual ship the real Demara sailed in. See more »

Goofs

Curtis is assigned to HMCS Cayuga on 16 June 1951. However, in the Captain's cabin, the picture on the wall is of Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI. Also the portrait appears to be the 1956 Annigoni painting of the queen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Three's Company: The Not-So-Great Imposter (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Sympathy for the Devil.
27 July 2004 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

I genuinely dislike these smooth-talking narcissistic psychopaths. They're like the guy who pushes in front of you in a long line and offers a charming but false explanation. Great for him but everybody else is deprived of the place in line that they've earned. Very amusing to see DeMara in all these high-status positions -- doctor, researcher from Yale, prison warden, monk. Suppose he'd killed someone on the Canadian destroyer? It doesn't help that he looks heavenward and mutters, "God, please don't let me kill anybody." He should have thought of that before. And his settling down with a straightforward love of his life who reforms him is unbelievable.

That gets the bad stuff out of the way. Tony Curtis is near his best, jaunty when it's called for, sweaty and nervous when necessary. His meeting with Mickey Kellin in the dark prison cell is pretty spooky. We can believe that Curtis is scared. We can also believe that Kellin is anxious to cooperate in some scheme that saves both his neck and his face.

The scene in which Curtis, as a Canadian doctor must remove the abcessed tooth of Captain Edmund O'Brien could not be improved upon. I can't watch that scene without busting up. O'Brien frozen in this awkward position, an agonized expression on his face, like an exhibit in Madam Toussaud's Wax Works.

I'm glad he finally got caught before he caused too much damage. Speaking of the damage we don't see much of it here. It's all pretty lighthearted, which is one way of approaching exploitation. An example of what I mean by "damage." I would feel sorry for the Naval officer who falls in love with him and redeems him, if she existed. In real life, these stimulus-hungry anti-social personalities are easily bored. They tend to attract women, use them, and blow them off. I would expect DeMara to have left a lot of hurt women along his madcap trail.


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