6.9/10
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3 user 5 critic

Con Man (2003)

| Documentary
The true story of James Hogue, a brilliant impostor who embraced the American art of self-invention, fabricated a spectacular series of fictional identities for himself, and successfully conned his way into Princeton University

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The true story of James Hogue, a brilliant impostor who embraced the American art of self-invention, fabricated a spectacular series of fictional identities for himself, and successfully conned his way into Princeton University

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Hogue admitted he had an identity problem so why not just leave him alone?
26 March 2015 | by See all my reviews

The film producers did an adequate job of outlining the number of frauds that James Hogue committed. I wouldn't call them atrocities of injustice as there were and still are literally thousands of college students who I assume may have committed more serious crimes against high schools and top ranked colleges that were not dismissed but allowed to complete their college degrees, nor did any jail time. Can anyone relate to unproven rape cases on almost all college campuses? Similarly there have been literally thousands of high school teachers, college professors and college coaches that have committed crimes without having been sentenced to prison time for their crimes.

Penn State's football coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual misconduct against young boys comes first to mind. How was he allowed to fool the entire football coaching staff and the esteemed Head Coach Joe Paterno for decades without a hint of misconduct? I digress but I do have a point to make. James Hogue only crime was that he fooled people in to believing he was someone (much younger) than who he actually was and entered a high school and a Grade 1 College, Princeton University under an alias with the intent to further his education and acquire a degree from one of the most sought after universities in the United States, Princeton. When the producer did eventually catch up to where James Hogue is they found him living and working in Colorado under his real birth name. The reason he gave for his using fraudulent names was he simply wanted to further his education. I would bet that if the real James Hogue came from an established wealthy family background (even if he were from a foreign country which he was not, he was born in Kansas City) his deceit would have been handled with much more diplomacy and a lot less publicity.

After the documentary was released in 2003, Hogue remained out of the public eye until 2007, when he was convicted of stealing (again) over 7,000 items worth over $100,000.00. He was released from jail in 2012. I wish that one of the many fortune 500 companies would step forward and pay for James Hogue continued education to see if he can be redeemed from his criminal past. All who know him say he was quite brilliant and more than capable of achieving his degree in his chosen field of engineering and mining.

James Hogue is 55 as of March 2015, and I would love to see a documentary sequel titled the Redemption of a Con Man. Stay tuned I give this documentary a 6 out of 10 and it is worth watching.


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