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The Great Flamarion (1945)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 30 March 1945 (USA)
Part of an entertainment act, a beautiful but unscrupulous female performer manipulates all the men in her life in order to achieve her aims.


Anthony Mann


Anne Wigton (screenplay), Heinz Herald (screenplay) | 3 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Erich von Stroheim ... The Great Flamarion (as Erich Von Stroheim)
Mary Beth Hughes ... Connie Wallace
Dan Duryea ... Al Wallace
Steve Barclay ... Eddie Wheeler (as Stephen Barclay)
Lester Allen ... Tony
Esther Howard ... Cleo
Michael Mark ... Nightwatchman
Learn more

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Flamarion, expert marksman, is entertaining people in a show which features Connie, beautiful woman and her husband Al. Flamarion and Connie fall in love and decide to get rid of the alcoholic husband. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Great With a Gun!!


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Connie Wallace first tells Flamarion of her love for him, the position of the gun in Flamarion's hand changes depending upon the shot. When it is a close-up of Flamarion, the gun barrel is high up, about the level of Flamarion's upper arm. In the wider shot, the gun barrel is in the crook of his elbow as his arms are folded. See more »


Connie Wallace: You know, no matter how fast you drink it the distilleries can still stay way ahead of you.
Al Wallace: Yup. But by next week I'll have 'em workin nights to do it!
See more »


Edited into Muchachada nui: Episode #2.11 (2008) See more »


by Faith Watson
See more »

User Reviews

In reality it was the beginning of the end.
26 April 2013 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

The Great Flamarion is directed by Anthony Mann and collectively written by Anne Wigton, Heinz Herald, Richard Weil and Vicki Baum. It stars Erich von Stroheim, Mary Beth Hughes, Dan Duryea, Stephen Barclay, Lester Allen and Esther Howard. Music is by Alexander Laszlo and cinematography by James S. Brown Jr.

Back stage of a vaudeville show and a woman is killed, the perpetrator of the crime escapes up into the rafters. Soon he falls to the ground, and cradled by one of the stage employees, he tells a story of lust, deceit, murder and broken hearts...

Though it falls into a familiar subset of film noir that encompasses the obsessive dupe, reference Criss Cross, The Killers, Scarlet Street et al, Anthony Mann's film has a most interesting structure. Story is essentially told from the mouth of a dying man, his guilt set in stone, we spin to flashbacks and narration as The Great Flamarion (Stroheim) himself clues us in to the dangers of not following your brain, but what's in your underwear.

Flamarion, wonderfully essayed by the acid faced Stroheim, is a sharp-shooter on the vaudeville circuit. Once burned in love years previously, he now lives only for his work and he's friendless, miserable and intolerable to work for. His two assistants are husband and wife team Connie (Hughes) and Al (Duryea) Wallace, he's a drunk and she's out for what she can get, and what she wants at this moment in time spells trouble for Flamarion and Al. So begins a treacherous tale as a once wise and closed off man falls hook, line and sinker for a pair of shapely legs young enough to be propping up his daughter.

Connie Wallace (Hughes excellent) is one of the classic femme fatales, she's not just duping one man, not even two, her capacities for feathering her own nest are enormous. Watching her break down Flamarion's walls is pitch black stuff, as is Flamarion's pitiful descent into becoming a broken man, while Duryea's (another in his long line of great film noir losers) Al roams the edges of the frame as a pitiful drunk stumbling towards doom. The dialogue may not always catch the mood right, but as a story, performed and written, it's clinical noir.

Out of Republic Studios, there's obviously budget restrictions, but Mann was a shrewd director in noir circles and crafts a tight and crafty picture. It's never overtly expressionistic but the all round effect garnered by the lighting techniques pumps the haunting like tale with atmosphere. There's also a gentle pulse of sexual politics in the narrative, and saucy suggestion as well, with the director asking us to peek under the curtain to spy a world of horny sad-sacks and dangerous females.

It's not front line Mann or as good as Scarlet Street (released after The Great Flamarion), but it is a little noir gem. With top performances, pitch black plotting and a message that tells us to never take our eye off the ball, it's very much recommended to the film noir faithful. 8/10

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Release Date:

30 March 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Pigeon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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