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The Impostors (1998)

R | | Comedy | 2 October 1998 (USA)
2:05 | Trailer

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In an attempt to resurrect the slapstick comedy of Laurel and Hardy or The Marx Brothers, Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt team-up as two out-of-work actors who accidentally stowaway on a ... See full summary »






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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walker Jones ...
Jessica Walling ...
David Lipman ...
George Guidall ...
Ted Blumberg ...


In an attempt to resurrect the slapstick comedy of Laurel and Hardy or The Marx Brothers, Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt team-up as two out-of-work actors who accidentally stowaway on a ship to hide from a drunken, belligerent lead actor who has sworn to kill them for belittling his talents. Of course, the lead actor end up on the ship as well. Also, a madman (Tony Shalhoub) plots the destruction of the ship and Steve Buscemi is a depressed, suicidal lounge singer named Happy Frank. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Now the time has come...to act. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ship of Fools  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$308,767 (USA) (2 October 1998)


$2,197,921 (USA) (8 January 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt first met at Yale University where they developed the characters of the two unemployed actors that they play in this film. See more »


When Happy Franks sits at the bar and sees the sleeping pills, the bottle has the address printed on it, including the ZIP code. ZIP codes were not used until 1963. See more »


[first lines]
Maurice: [as they discuss an act which they did] I'm sorry.
Arthur: You stole my death.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the closing credits roll, the entire cast performs a line dance, starting on the ocean liner set and working their way out of the soundstage. See more »


Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.11 (2003) See more »


Le Mourisque
Written by Tylman Susato (as Susato)
Performed by Canadian Brass (as The Canadian Brass)
Courtesy of RCA Victor/BMG Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant, original, funny, but not for everyone
13 February 2000 | by (Cambridge, MA) – See all my reviews

I loved this movie, yet I can see why others hated it. This is not the comic food we have grown up on. It is a different cuisine that tastes strange at first, but if given a chance, rewards with fresh, delicious sensations at every bite.

Early in this movie our actor heros take turns mugging an emotion on command. I think this moment is the key to understanding the entire film. Almost every scene is painted by facial expressions and body language. The editing lingers to give us time to enjoy each portrait, then cuts a bit further along in the story than we are used to. This unfamiliar timing gives the strong cast a chance to act rather than react. The story is about actors, but the movie is a tribute to comedic acting.

If you want a formula comedy, rent something else. If you want movie that is funny, warm, original, and brilliant and are willing to give its different pace a chance, put this film at the top of your list and plan to view it twice.

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