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The Imposter
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The Imposter (2012) More at IMDbPro »

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The Imposter -- Unforgettable, chilling and emotional, The Imposter tells the gripping true story of a Texan boy who went missing in 1994 and was miraculously found three and a half years later thousands of miles away in southern Spain. Despite glaring inconsistencies in his physical appearance, the boy's family brought their long-lost "son" home to restart his life in Texas. Questions soon arise: how could the Barclay's blonde, blue-eyed son have returned with darker skin and eyes? How could his personality and even accent have changed so dramatically? Truth soon proves stranger than fiction as the real story emerges. Universally critically acclaimed and nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, this is a jaw-dropping story about the lies we want to believe and the truths we choose to construct.
The Imposter -- A documentary centered on a young Frenchman who convinces a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who went missing for 3 years.
The Imposter -- Trailer for The Imposter


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7.5/10   30,417 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
24 August 2012 (Ireland) See more »
There are two sides to every lie. See more »
A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years. | Add synopsis »
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 12 wins & 27 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A story that needs to be heard See more (70 total) »


  (in credits order)

Adam O'Brian ... Frédéric Bourdin

Anna Ruben ... Carey Gibson
Cathy Dresbach ... Nancy Fisher
Alan Teichman ... Charlie Parker
Ivan Villanueva ... Social Worker
María Jesús Hoyos ... Judge (as Maria Jesus Hoyos)
Anton Marti ... Male Police Officer
Amparo Fontanet ... Female Police Officer

Ken Appledorn ... Vice Consul
Carey Gibson ... Herself
Bryan Gibson ... Himself
Beverly Dollarhide ... Herself
Frédéric Bourdin ... Himself (as Frederic Bourdin)
Nancy Fisher ... Herself (as Nancy B. Fisher)
Philip French ... Himself (as Phillip French)
Codey Gibson ... Himself

Charlie Parker ... Himself (archive footage)
Bruce Perry ... Himself (as Bruce Perry M.D.; P.H.D.)
Allie Hosteiler ... Herself
Kevin Hendricks ... Himself / Interviewer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jon Akoko ... High School Student (uncredited)

Sylvie Cohen ... FBI Agent (uncredited)
John Geiger ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Debbie Jennings ... FBI Agent / Passport Agent (uncredited)

L.T. Kidd ... Detective (uncredited)

Karen Lewsader ... Loraine - Call Center (uncredited)

Directed by
Bart Layton 
Produced by
John Battsek .... executive producer
Sam Brown .... development producer
Katherine Butler .... executive producer
Simon Chinn .... executive producer
Paul Cziok .... archive producer
Robert DeBitetto .... executive producer
Poppy Dixon .... co-producer
Dimitri Doganis .... producer
John Farrar .... development producer
Kate Horne .... assistant producer: Spain
Tabitha Jackson .... executive producer
Paloma López Vázquez .... local producer: Madrid (as Paloma Lopez Vazquez)
Mary-Jane Mitchell .... development producer
Randy Murray .... local producer: Phoenix, AZ
Theresa Murray .... local producer: Phoenix, AZ
Rob Sharenow .... executive producer (as Robert Sharenow)
Molly Thompson .... executive producer
Vanessa Tovell .... line producer
Original Music by
Anne Nikitin 
Cinematography by
Lynda Hall (director of photography)
Erik Wilson (director of photography) (as Erik Alexander Wilson)
Film Editing by
Andrew Hulme 
Production Design by
Marcia Calosio 
Set Decoration by
John M. Oswald (Phoenix, AZ) (as Jon Oswald)
Makeup Department
Pablo Morillas .... hair designer: Madrid
Pablo Morillas .... makeup designer: Madrid
Bianca Risch .... hair stylist assistant: Phoenix, AZ (as Bianca Rusch)
Bianca Risch .... makeup artist assistant: Phoenix, AZ (as Bianca Rusch)
Dana Vargas .... hair stylist: Phoenix, AZ
Production Management
Andy Nelson .... production manager: Phoenix, AZ
Piers Vellacott .... head of production
Nicola Whitehead .... post-production producer: Prime Focus
Rodrigo Álvarez .... production manager: Madrid (as Alejandro Alvarez Yanes)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kyle Hanlon .... first assistant director: Phoenix, AZ
Travis Alan McAfee .... second assistant director: Phoenix, AZ (as Travis McAfee)
Jeremy Phoenix .... first assistant director: Phoenix, AZ
Lucas Cuevas Stollery .... first assistant director: Madrid
Art Department
Sonia Aranzabal .... art director: Madrid
Marcia Calosio .... production designer: Phoenix, AZ (as Marcia Carols)
Temple Clark .... storyboard artist
Angel Garcia .... prop assistant: Madrid
Mariona Julbe .... art director: Madrid
Vanessa Monreal .... art director: Madrid
John M. Oswald .... construction coordinator
John M. Oswald .... set decorator: Phoenix, AZ (as Jon Oswald)
Luis Miguel Revenga .... prop assistant: Madrid
Ashley Sanders .... storyboard artist
Travis Secory .... set dresser: Phoenix, AZ
Zack Shisslak .... property master: Phoenix, AZ
Ted Sorensen .... set dresser: Phoenix, AZ
Sound Department
Brian Albritten .... sound recordist: documentary crew
Mike Cooper .... sound recordist: Madrid
Kaye Charles Cruz .... sound recordist: documentary crew
Paul Davies .... sound designer
Charlie Ethridge .... sound recordist: Phoenix, AZ (as Charles Ethridge)
Allen Green .... sound recordist: documentary crew
Andrew Stirk .... sound re-recording mixer
Andrew Stirk .... supervising sound editor
David Turner .... sound facility director
Nick Walker .... sound recordist: : documentary crew
Simon Hill .... mix technician (uncredited)
Robert Karlsson .... dolby sound consultant (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Pedro Moreno .... special effects supervisor: Madrid
Camera and Electrical Department
Águeda Balogh .... first assistant camera: Madrid (as Agueda Balogh)
Antonio Diaz Gallardo .... grip: Madrid
Joe Engelbrechet .... grip: Phoenix, AZ
Xoan Feros .... camera trainee: Madrid
Carlos Guijarro .... camera trainee: Madrid
Sean Patrick Hill .... key grip: Phoenix, AZ (as Sean Hill)
Justin Kling .... first assistant camera: documentary crew
Jeremy Kraft .... camera trainee: Phoenix, AZ
Alfonso Luján .... key grip: Madrid
Justin Michael .... camera trainee: Phoenix, AZ
Amy Newstead .... first assistant camera: documentary crew
Brandon Ruzovich .... g&e trainee: Phoenix, AZ
Pedro Sanchez .... gaffer: Madrid
Xuan Santer .... second assistant camera: Phoenix, AZ
Oliver Schofield .... additional photography (as Ollie Schofield)
Chris Smith .... camera trainee: Phoenix, AZ
Miguel Velasco Muro .... electrician: Madrid
Ramón Villafañez .... electrician: Madrid (as Ramon Villafanez)
Adam Wheeler .... first assistant camera: Phoenix, AZ
Jarrod Wilson .... gaffer: Phoenix, AZ
Michael Wohlfeld .... first assistant camera: documentary crew
Eric Young .... jib operator: documentary crew
Casting Department
Cecilia Bayonas .... casting director: Madrid
Danielle Thompson .... casting director: Phoenix, AZ
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ivan Blanco .... wardrobe assistant: Madrid
Jessica Erin Cary .... set costumer: Phoenix, AZ (as Jessica Cary)
Paco Delgado .... wardrobe designer: Madrid
Susan Estavillo .... set costumer: Phoenix, AZ
Paula Rogers .... costume designer: Phoenix, AZ
Erika Ökvist .... additional costume (as Erika Okvist)
Editorial Department
Henry Adkin .... edit assistant
Fiorenza Bagnariol .... digital film bureau
Tom Barrett .... head of restoration
Ben Chanan .... additional editing
Peter Collins .... digital intermediate assistant
Rob Farris .... digital intermediate producer
Marie Fernandes .... digital intermediate producer
Richard Giles .... digital on-line editor
Toby Glover .... supervising on-line editor
Cheryl Goodbody .... assistant digital intermediate producer
Emily Greenwood .... digital on-line editor
Tom Hannibal .... edit assistant
Neil Harrison .... systems administrator
Dan Helme .... data wrangler
Timothy P. Jones .... digital film bureau
Patrick Malone .... digital intermediate head of department
Barry Moen .... assistant editor
Avdhesh Mohla .... assistant editor (as Avi Molha)
Laura Pavone .... digital film bureau
Rob Pizzey .... digital colorist (as Robin Pizzey)
Gordon Pratt .... digital film bureau
Aurora Shannon .... digital intermediate assistant
Ben Stark .... additional editing
Justin Tillett .... digital on-line editor
Laurent Treherne .... digital film technical supervisor
Georgia Woolley .... post-production coordinator
Andy Worboys .... additional editing
Music Department
Alex Baranowski .... musician: piano
Philippe Barnes .... musician: flute
Goetz Botzenhardt .... music mixer
Tom Bullens .... studio manager: Air-Edel Studios London
Ian Cape .... musician: percussion, Wanderlust Band
Ellie Fagg .... string section contractor and leader
April Frederick .... musician: soprano
Liz Gallacher .... music supervisor
Andrew Green .... music copyist
Kathleen Hasay .... music supervisor
Tom Howe .... musician: electric guitar.bass
James Jones .... conductor
James Jones .... music assistant
LivingRoomLondon .... musicians (as Living Room in London)
Anne Miller .... music publisher
Steve Moss .... musician: clarinet
Anne Nikitin .... orchestrator
RawStrings .... musicians (as Raw Strings)
Richard Scott .... musician: counter tenor
Nick Taylor .... music recording engineer
Isobel Waller-Bridge .... orchestrator
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestral contractor (uncredited)
Patrick Jonsson .... assistant score recordist (uncredited)
Other crew
Alberto Alepuz .... floor runner: Madrid
Alejandro Arroyo .... floor runner: Madrid
Mafe Bello .... production secretary: Madrid
Jonathan Blair .... legal services
Josh Braun .... distribution advisory services: Submarine
Georgina Buck .... production secretary
Javier Cano .... location scout: Madrid
Shaun Center .... key set production assistant: Phoenix, AZ
Michael Cleaver .... legal services: US, SmithDehn
Bethan Daunter .... production coordinator
Harry Dixon .... business affairs: Film4/Channel4
Katelyn M. Edmonds .... production coordinator: Phoenix, AZ (as Katelyn Edmonds)
Ros Ereira .... researcher (as Rosalind Ereira)
Selina Ferguson .... production coordinator
Rodrigo Grande .... production coordinator: Madrid
Micah Green .... distribution advisory services: CAA
Dominic Harrison .... legal and compliance: Film4/Channel4
Tracey Josephs .... production: Film4/Channel4
Jeremy Kimberlin .... head of rights: Film4/Channel4
Leonardo Martínez .... location manager: Madrid (as Leonardo Martinez)
David Morrison .... tax accountant: UK, Nyman Lipsom Paul
Mariangeles Nunez .... floor runner: Madrid
Jason Sallee .... location manager: Phoenix, AZ
Michael Simkins .... legal services
Sue Bruce Smith .... commercial development: Film4/Channel4 (as Sue Bruce-Smith)
Will Stanbridge .... researcher
Peter Suddell .... insurance broker: Media Insurance Brokers
Vinita Tawakley .... production accountant
Michael Thompson .... craft service: Phoenix, AZ
Freddie Paull .... intern (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Continuity: At the beginning of the film, Frédéric Bourdin's hair line is very defined and has dark hair. But by the end of the film he has a noticeable receding hairline. However, the film portrays his talking scenes as one long interview as his shirt never changes.See more »
Wayfaring StrangerSee more »


See more »
16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
A story that needs to be heard, 10 January 2013
Author: KieronJT from United Kingdom

For me, this film came out of nowhere. I missed its cinematic run and only came across it after it was featured in a copy of Total Film magazine. The Imposter tells the story of French con artist Frederic Bourdin, who manages to trick his way into a small town American family in the belief he is missing family member of 3 years, Nicholas Gibson.

Many questions are asked, not all of them are answered. For instance, why would the Gibson's take a complete stranger into their house? Did they believe Bourdin was genuinely Nicholas or did they just want him to be Nicholas? Was there an ulterior motive to the families acceptance of this stranger among them, or were they innocent and Bourdin was just a very convincing liar?

Certainly looking from the outside in it's very easy to question the stupidity of the Gibson family for allowing this chameleon into their home and seeing how he managed to concoct so many lies and not get caught sooner. In fact, if it wasn't for the efforts of a private investigator and a suspicious FBI agent, Bourdin may still be living in the United States as Nicholas Gibson and no one would be any the wiser.

As we follow the story the mystery grows ever deeper. It's a brilliant feat by the director to be able to build such tension in a film like this, using facts and true life testimonies to build an unbelievable tale where we are completely none the wiser at any point during the film as to who is actually telling the truth.

For a documentary, The Imposter is genuinely breathtaking. Moving quicker than a Hollywood thriller and a thousand times more intriguing. This true story is both gripping and shocking and completely worthy of your attention.

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