6.4/10
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11 user 2 critic

Stolen Identity (1953)

Approved | | Drama | 15 September 1958 (Sweden)
A jealous concert pianist murders his wife's lover, then frames an innocent taxi driver for the crime.

Director:

Gunther von Fritsch (as Gunther Fritsch)

Writers:

Robert Hill (screen play), Alexander Lernet-Holenia (novel)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Donald Buka ... Toni Sponer
Joan Camden Joan Camden ... Karen Manelli
Francis Lederer ... Claude Manelli
Adrienne Gessner Adrienne Gessner ... Mrs. Fraser
Inge Konradi Inge Konradi ... Marie
Gisela Wilke Gisela Wilke ... Old Doll
Hermann Erhardt Hermann Erhardt ... Ferdl Heintl
Egon von Jordan ... Kruger (as E. von Jordan)
Manfred Inger Manfred Inger ... Inspector
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karl Farkas Karl Farkas ... Waiter
Louis Ousted Louis Ousted ... Jack Mortimer
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Storyline

A jealous concert pianist murders his wife's lover, then frames an innocent taxi driver for the crime.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DANGER HUNTS THEM! DEATH HAUNTS THEM! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Austria | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1958 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Fallet Mortimer See more »

Filming Locations:

Vienna, Austria

Company Credits

Production Co:

Transglobe-Film Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Connections

Alternate-language version of Abenteuer in Wien (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Engrossing, Noirish Sleeper
11 May 2007 | by krdementSee all my reviews

Previous commentators have noted the similarity in appearance between this film and The Third Man, director Carol Reed's classic film noir starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. This similarity strikes the viewer almost immediately. It is, indeed, high praise to be compared to Robert Krasker's academy award- winning cinematography in The Third Man.

The plot of Stolen Identity also has been delineated fairly accurately but in rather ordinary terms. I found it highly creative and entertaining. As common as the "Mistaken - or Stolen - Identity" device is in both theater and cinema, it is only a device and not to be mistaken for the plot, itself. Consequently, while the viewer may have seen this device "a thousand" times, the plot of Stolen Identity is full of surprises and twists based upon this device. It is the unexpected turns that make this film much fresher, more original and engrossing than a plot synopsis might convey. Stolen Identity doesn't rely on the kind of suspense that characterizes most film noire, because there is no real mystery here. Instead, it relies on constant, smaller surprises. In short, the Mistaken Identity device is rather common; but this plot is not.

Finally, although I was not familiar with the cast, I found the acting to be uniformly good, occasionally outstanding. I easily could have imagined other actors turning this film into a melodrama, with bombast, overblown gestures and obvious facial expressions. The acting is always more restrained and subtle. Donald Buka is especially restrained and credible, never "blowing his cover" with an obvious facial expression as we see too often in films that depend on the maintenance of subterfuge to sustain dramatic tension.

The only disappointment in this otherwise fine film was the very weak development of the love story sub-plot. As it stands, it seems like an afterthought - a mild surprise, in fact - tacked on to the end. Or perhaps during their shared ordeal, the actors simply couldn't convey a palpable level of chemistry that I could appreciate. This sub-plot should have been made more apparent as the story unfolded. All in all, I thought this film was a fine little gem, and I wondered why I had not seen it before. Try it, you'll like it.


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