6.3/10
17
2 user 1 critic

The Magnificent Fraud (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 6 November 1939 (Denmark)
In this lively programmer a con man hires a character actor to masqueraded as the recently assassinated dictator of a tiny Latin American country so he can bilk an arriving American ambassador out of his fortune.

Director:

Writers:

(story), | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young girl's parents are killed on a tropical island, and the girl is raised and protected by the jungle animals. When she is found, as a grown woman, she is taken back to the United ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred Santell
Stars: Dorothy Lamour, Richard Denning, Jack Haley
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Ray Milland and Betty Field play a warring married couple who hope to patch up their differences by adopting a baby. When Milland's ex-flame Patricia Morrison shows up unexpectedly, the fur flies.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Ray Milland, Betty Field, Patricia Morison
Untamed (1940)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Dr. Bill Crawford, on a hunting trip to Canada, is attacked by a bear and his guide, Joe Easter, saves his life and takes the badly-mauled Crawford to his cabin home, where he lives with ... See full summary »

Director: George Archainbaud
Stars: Ray Milland, Patricia Morison, Akim Tamiroff
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A beautiful but greedy woman teams up with a small-time hoodlum to become two of the most wanted criminals in the country.

Director: Louis King
Stars: Lynne Overman, Patricia Morison, J. Carrol Naish
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe
Comedy | Crime | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nick and Nora investigate the murder of a bandleader in New York.

Director: Edward Buzzell
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Keenan Wynn
Action | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

When an old rancher (Cordoba)'s grandson is murdered, the Cisco Kid takes his place to find who's trying to take over the ranch.

Director: Herbert I. Leeds
Stars: Cesar Romero, Patricia Morison, Lynne Roberts
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Texas pilot courts a British aristocrat in London amid bombing and in Portugal amid spies.

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Madeleine Carroll, Patricia Morison
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

While in a train halted at a station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder committed in a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since ... See full summary »

Director: Charles David
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes sets out to discover why a trio of murderous villains, including a dangerously attractive female, are desperate to obtain three unassuming and inexpensive little music boxes.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Patricia Morison
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Little known actor, Jack Noah, is working on location in the country of Parador at the time the dictator dies. The dictator's right hand man, Roberto, makes Jack an offer he cannot refuse..... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Raul Julia, Sônia Braga
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
... Jules LaCroix / President Alvarado
... Sam Barr
... Mme. Geraldine Genet
... Claire Hill
... Harrison Todd
... Carmelita
... Duval
... Dr. Luis Virgo
... General Pablo Hernandez
... Mendietta Garcia
... Morales
... Ruiz
... Dr. Diaz
... June
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Señora Moreno (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

In this lively programmer a con man hires a character actor to masqueraded as the recently assassinated dictator of a tiny Latin American country so he can bilk an arriving American ambassador out of his fortune.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

latin america | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 November 1939 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Caviar for His Excellency  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Connections

Remade as Moon Over Parador (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Political Great Impersonation
16 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

In 1914 E. Philips Openheim wrote a classic spy thriller (a timely one too) about evil agents of Wilhelmine Germany plotting to place a mole in English high society. The plot begins in Africa, where a German aristocrat (and spy) named Leopold Von Ragenstein is on safari, and meets an worn out, drunken English aristocrat named Sir Everard Dominey. Dominey has very high connections in society to social and political leaders in England, and has access through them to major military and diplomatic secrets. Von Ragenstein notices that he and Dominey look very similar in appearance. The German decides to invite the Englishman on the safari, and kill him safely away from notice in the jungle, and then take over the Englishman's identity and use it to feed plenty of information to the Germans. The novel follows the return of Sir Everard, and the issue which perplexes everyone (English and German) is who has returned: Sir Everard or Baron Leopold.

The Oppenheim novel was made into a film starring Ralph Bellamy. It is not the first novel about twins changing places (Mark Twain's THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER dealt with the same situation), nor the first showing how politics might be affected. Is such a situation possible? Probably not. Somewhere along the line the impostor would make a major error (forgetting some critical fact the real person knows, or acting somewhat oddly).

This film takes the idea of Oppenheim's novel (and of Twain's earlier novel, for that matter), and puts it into a political switch. Instead of an important aristocrat replaced by a spy, it is an actor who replaces a great statesman to complete that statesman's policy.

Akim Tamiroff plays actor Jules Lacroix who is performing before President Alvarado of a Latin American country (also Tamiroff). Alvarado has been giving an honest government to the country, and has made a treaty he is negotiating a keystone to his policy. But he has made many enemies, and is fatally injured during the performance by a bomb. Before he dies he talks to the show's impresario, a friend of his named Sam Barr (Lloyd Nolan). Alvarado notices how much Lacroix looks like him. He begs Barr and Lacroix to have the latter replace him so to complete the negotiations as Alvarado. They agree.

So word is spread that it was Lacroix who was killed, and the President was wounded. There are a few problems. Robert Warwick plays General Hernandez. He and Frank Reicher (Mandietta Garcia) have been two of the leading figures of the administration, but neither really were favoring Alvarado's reforms. They are playing along "for awhile", but expect that Lacroix will announce that he is too ill to continue in office and will advise that Warwick get the Presidency. They are nervous that if word of the actual death of Alvarado comes out the public will want the Presidency to be given to Dr. Luis Virgo (George Zucco, curiously enough) who has worked closely with Alvarado on the reforms.

So the situation has the nervous Tamiroff being steadied by Lloyd Nolan, as he navigates between his ego (he loves this - the part of a lifetime), his fears (he knows he is a target of assassins), his sense of duty (he comes to loath the selfish Warwick and Reicher), and his desires (he finds an old flame - Mary Boland - who knows it's Jules and not the President who is alive). Nolan too has to fight the revolutionaries and hold off Warwick and Reicher.

If the story is far fetched, it is also well told and acted. It's conclusion may seem a little melodramatic, but the last moments on screen between Boland and Tamiroff are actually quite moving. I would give the film a "7" out of "10".


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial