6.6/10
211
7 user 6 critic

The Pretender (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 August 1947 (USA)
Kenneth Holden (Albert Dekker), a banker, steals funds from an estate and decides to marry the heiress, Claire Worthington (Catherine Craig), to safeguard his position. He arranges for her ... See full summary »

Director:

W. Lee Wilder

Writers:

Don Martin (original screenplay), Doris Miller (additional dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Dekker ... Kenneth Holden
Catherine Craig ... Claire Worthington
Charles Drake ... Dr. Leonard G. Koster
Alan Carney ... Victor Korrin
Linda Stirling ... Flo Ronson
Tom Kennedy ... Fingers Murdock
Selmer Jackson ... Charles Lennox
Charles Middleton ... William the Butler
Ernie Adams ... Thomas the Butler
Ben Welden ... Mickie
John Bagni John Bagni ... Hank Gordon
Stanley Ross Stanley Ross ... Stranger
Forrest Taylor ... Dr. Harold Stevens
Greta Clement Greta Clement ... Margie
Peter Michael Peter Michael ... Stephen
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Storyline

Kenneth Holden (Albert Dekker), a banker, steals funds from an estate and decides to marry the heiress, Claire Worthington (Catherine Craig), to safeguard his position. He arranges for her fiancé to be killed but does not state the fiancé's name. Claire, meanwhile, has a change of heart and marries Holden. Thusly he now becomes the target of the killer and attempts to cancel the deal - except he doesn't know who the hired killer is. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Terror Mobs Are In Business Again! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prisioneiro do Medo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack features a Theremin See more »

Goofs

When Kenneth Holden leaves his house in his car it is early evening, but the car that chases immediately after him is shown in total darkness.When he looks back he is being pursued in early evening again, and the chase ends in total darkness. See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretending the Night has No Eyes
4 April 2012 | by The_Dying_FlutchmanSee all my reviews

What would it have been like if David Lynch were sitting in the director's chair in the golden age of film noir? This picture might give a hint of what it may have looked like. The thing is populated with phantoms inhabiting the bodies of some of the screen's most dastardly character types. There goes Charles Middleton posing as a butler from the nether regions. And here comes a young doctor in the guise of Charles Drake. I wonder what else he cuts up when he slithers out the door in the evening? And then there's the film's handsome, middle aged, Albert Dekker, in a bravura performance as an embezzler. He continually wrings his hands and worries about other fantasies that are too diseased for the light of night. He becomes obsessed and woefully paranoid about "those who are coming" to get him. He locks himself into his "fine and private" room there to gorge himself on a worthless diet of potted meats and stale crackers. His self perpetuated madness takes on epic proportions as he tries to get away from his internal horror and this makes for the ultimate bad choice in causing him to forfeit his life in a most chilling manner.

This is truly a low budget nightmare noir filmed with consummate skill and gusto by the German cinematographer John Alton before his career with the terrific director Anthony Mann. The two of them made some of the finest film noirs to grace the screen. Also, this particular picture uses forced perspective and scrunched miniatures to add to its otherworldly view. In the end, it is probably W.Lee Wilder, Billy's older brother's best attempt behind the camera. He wouldn't manage to trod any meaner streets than these again.


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