6.8/10
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Hollow Triumph (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 February 1949 (Mexico)
Pursued by the big-time gambler he robbed, John Muller takes a new identity, with ironic results.

Directors:

Steve Sekely, Paul Henreid (uncredited)

Writers:

Daniel Fuchs (screenplay), Murray Forbes (based upon a novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Henreid ... John Muller / Dr. Bartok
Joan Bennett ... Evelyn Hahn
Eduard Franz ... Frederick Muller
Leslie Brooks ... Virginia Taylor
John Qualen ... Swangron
Mabel Paige ... Charwoman
Herbert Rudley ... Marcy
Charles Arnt ... Coblenz
George Chandler ... Aubrey - Assistant
Sid Tomack ... Artell - Manager
Alvin Hammer ... Jerry
Ann Staunton ... Blonde
Paul E. Burns ... Clerk (as Paul Burns)
Charles Trowbridge ... Deputy
Morgan Farley ... Howard Anderson
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Storyline

John Muller, medical school dropout and brilliant crook, plans a holdup which goes a little bit wrong, and finds vindictive gambler Rocky Stansyck after him. At the end of his tether, he stumbles onto a lucky chance to assume an impenetrable new identity as psychiatrist Victor Bartok. But irony piles on as Muller finds it's out of the frying pan, into the fire. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story of a Man Who Murdered Himself and Lived to Regret It!!! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the audio commentary by Imogen Sara Smith, production was shut down for a day and restarted after Steve Sekely was removed from the picture for creative differences, with Paul Henreid taking over. Sekely retained director credit for contractual reasons. See more »

Goofs

A lot's been made of Muller (Paul Henried) scarring himself on the wrong cheek in his attempt to impersonate Dr. Bartok. However when he actually does it, he does prepare to cut himself on the left cheek, but when he applies the bandage to help his face heal, it's placed on his right cheek, and subsequently, the scar stays there for the rest of the movie. See more »

Quotes

[regaining her composure after mistakenly kissing Muller, thinking he was Dr. Bartok]
Evelyn Hahn: What can I do for you?
John Muller: What more could any reasonable man ask?
See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Danube Waltz
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss
Whistled by Muller's workmate at the garage
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User Reviews

Let's Not Forget John Alton
3 June 2004 | by bolddice2See all my reviews

Yes, "Hollow Triumph" or "The Scar" is a very fine example of film noir. It is tough, gritty, full of duplicity, and identities that shift across screen time. But what really makes this film sing is the vivid low-key photography of John Alton. Yes, perhaps Sekely deserves some credit, but the look is all Alton. "HT" is shot the same year (1948) as two other excellently lensed films by Alton -- "Amazing Mr. X" and "He Walked By Night." Dark sets lit with single light sources, bizarre angles and strong uses of deep focus compositions characterize Alton's work. Alton knew well how to get along with less light, creating the nightmarish worlds we see on the screen. This film's look reminds me of another great noir work -- Welles' 1958 "Touch of Evil" shot by Metty. But as I think of the two cinematographers, Alton seemed to best encapsulate the noir look -- seamy, wet, claustrophobic and dead-ended.

Of worthy mention here too, is: Henreid repeating the cigarette motif we saw earlier in "Now, Voyager," but here given a chain-smoking mania of its own, suggestive of insecurity and metaphoric of his attempts to "cloak" his identity, to shape-shift like a cloud of smoke into something new.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 1949 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Murdered Himself See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bryan Foy Productions See more »
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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