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The Chameleon (2010)

2:36 | Trailer
An FBI Agent is hot on the tracks of Frédéric Fortin who has taken up the identity of a woman's long lost son, completely convincing the police and the boy's family of his identity.






Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Price
Brian Jansen
B.R.P.D. Cop A
Diner Owner (as Ritchie Montgomerey)
FBI Doctor (as Lance Nichols)
Estelle Larrivaz ...
Female Gendarme
Lindsay Soileau ...
Girl #1 (as Lindsey Soileau)
Katy Peppard ...
Girl #2 (as Katy Preppard)


Based on a true story, this film looks at what happens when a serial impostor in Europe passes himself off as a missing boy from Texas. The missing boy's family welcomes him as their son, but the FBI quickly realizes something is amiss. Does the family's eagerness to accept the impostor mean they are just happy to have their loved one back, or are they trying to hide a more sinister event - perhaps what happened to their boy? But even more - who is this impostor who has talked his way into the United States and a family's home? Written by Meredith P.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How do you know what you see is really the truth? See more »


Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, brief drug use and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

10 June 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A kaméleon  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Loosely based on the story of Frédéric Bourdin, a French serial impostor nicknamed "The Chameleon" by the press. In 1997 Bourdin claimed to be Nicholas Barclay, a Texas native that disappeared 3 years earlier. Although Bourdin had brown eyes and a French accent, he convinced the family he was their blue-eyed son, saying he had escaped from a child prostitution ring. Bourdin lived with the family for almost 5 months until March 6, 1998. In late 1997 a local private investigator grew suspicious while working with a TV crew that had been filming the family. In February 1998 the FBI got a court order to take the young man's fingerprints and DNA, which later identified him as Bourdin. In September 1998, Bourdin pleaded guilty to passport fraud and perjury in a San Antonio federal court. He was imprisoned for six years. See more »


(at around 33 mins) Brendan Kerrigan (Nick Stahl) is driving a burgundy colored Camaro with a spoiler on the trunk, and (at around 18 mins) he is clearly driving a burgundy colored Trans Am with no spoiler. See more »


Kimberly Miller: I was never a very good mother to you. I guess you forgot that too, huh?
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Version of The Imposter (2012) See more »


Written by Rob Walker
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User Reviews

Muddled screenplay redeemed by some fine acting
5 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

We can never be sure about dramatised true stories because tricks are played on our memories even as we try to retell with accuracy. This story of a character who is unlikely to be who he claims to be from the start is as much about doubts as it is about rebuilding hopes. From the opening shots of a body hunt through to the final frames this film attempts to tackle the driving forces of all the characters who make up the plot by showing up flaws and how all of us are sometimes drawn to papering over cracks in our thoughts.

The film is quite clever in raising doubt in our minds because every player seems flawed from Fortin/Randall (Grondin), through Kimberly (Barkin), to Johnson (Janssen) as an FBI agent who seems to have no doubts. Perhaps a clumsy unevenness in the screenplay sometimes makes following the story a little less taut than it should be, but I could not fault the quality of the acting.

Even a family torn apart by an undisclosed tragedy seem very adept at keeping things as they are when redemption is a possibility but the actual interaction between them is not well rehearsed in this script. Too much focus is perhaps played on the mother's relationship with her "son" when there was perhaps a lot of mileage elsewhere.

I would guess many people would want a more commercial ending to a film like this and that has probably detracted from it popularity since it does stick to events as they happened but for me the real let down, having such a great cast, was a failure to grasp the real guts of the story and perhaps reveal a little more of what really may have happened.

Seven out of ten for acting from a fine cast.

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