6.2/10
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My Friend Rockefeller (2015)

Portrait of Christian Gerhartsreiter, who posed as a Rockefeller heir for decades, but who was, in fact, a con artist and a murderer.

Director:

Steffi Kammerer

Writer:

Steffi Kammerer
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Cast

Credited cast:
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dan Banks Dan Banks ... Self (fellow church member, San Marino, CA)
Sandra Boss Sandra Boss ... Self (ex-wife, married for 13 years)
Meredith Brucker Meredith Brucker ... Self
Meredith Bruckner Meredith Bruckner ... Self (romance novelist, San Marino, CA)
Bob Brusca Bob Brusca ... Self (former colleague, Manhattan)
Judith Carter Judith Carter ... Self (San Marino, CA)
Peggy Ebright Peggy Ebright ... Self (artist, San Marino, CA)
Horst Eigermann Horst Eigermann ... Self (childhood friend)
Frank C. Girardot Frank C. Girardot ... Self (crime reporter, San Gabriel Valley)
Martha Henry Martha Henry ... Self (art dealer, Manhattan)
Patrick Hickox Patrick Hickox ... Self (architect, Boston)
Steffi Kammerer ... Self (in interview scene with Gerhartsreiter)
Elmer Kelln Elmer Kelln ... Self (surrogate parent)
Jean Kelln Jean Kelln ... Self (surrogate parent)
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Storyline

Christian Gerhartsreiter, a man eventually known as "Clark Rockefeller", lived a life of deception; the FBI called it "the longest-running con in FBI history." After ingratiating himself into New York society and marrying a top banker with a Harvard MBA, "Clark" settled into his new luxurious life. The two had a daughter, before they divorced after 13 years. When his wife won custody, a distraught Clark abducted his beloved daughter. Ironically, it was the search for the missing child that not only exposed a web of lies and multiple identities, but a double murder committed decades earlier. How was Gerhartsreiter able to dupe so many people - from the very cream of society? What buttons did he press? We followed his trail and collected the reflections of those close to him. His friends who were left in the wake of his roller-coaster journey: from a Bavarian village to the most exclusive clubs on the American East Coast - to the grand finale in a Los Angeles court room. Here a jury ... Written by Steffi Kammerer

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Quotes

Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter: But... I mean, what is fiction? Fiction is lying. Every novel we read, every fictional television show we see is really a lie. If you think about it in terms of what is truth and what is a lie, well really the only true book is the Bible, and everything else is really a lie.
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Connections

References Gilligan's Island (1964) See more »

User Reviews

 
B-list Documentry
23 December 2017 | by cheer88See all my reviews

Although the real life of the psychopath is fascinating, this film could be more journalistic. I did see a version of TV interview about this Rockefeller impostor a few years back. He certainly did fool a lot of folks. However, truth to be told by the journalists seemly convinced me more.

This one tried to weave those human factors into the story was not particularly impressive. Documentary can be a good story telling alone by itself. Interviewing related characters should not be the focus. It would better be chronically listing frauds and misconceives this impostor had done to lead to his arrest. Impersonating someone is not a crime itself legally unless it causes any harms to victims. Apparently, he did not cause enough distractions to others to turn him in earlier until 2008. He was charming to those soft ears. People were fooled by him because they also saw his values to help them to climb up social or career ladders. He never really met anyone in the upper class society otherwise he would have already been exposed. His ex-wife wanted to believe she married into the Rockefeller so she did not even check his past. She thought somehow she finally could be proud of her femininity to attract a classic American Aristocracy. Everyone has his or her own vulnerability. Knowing yours would definitely protect yourself from those fouls.

The story of "Catch me if you can" which Steven Spielberg adapted it into a comedy is very much alike. However, the main character never harmed anyone physically. This Rockefeller impostor is a convicted murderer which makes it impossible to make his story into other than thrillers. I am somehow disappointed by this documentary. If you are familiar with the case, you can skip it.


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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 2016 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Being Rockefeller See more »

Filming Locations:

Chiemgau, Bavaria, Germany See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Color
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