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The Great Impostor (1960)

Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. is a versatile man who gets his kicks out of impersonating a marine, a monk, a navy surgeon and a prison warden, eventually getting in trouble with the law for it.

Director:

Robert Mulligan

Writers:

Robert Crichton (novel), Liam O'Brien (screenplay)
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Curtis ... Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. / Martin Donner / Dr. Gilbert / Ben. W. Stone / Dr. Joseph Mornay / Robert Boyd Hammnd
Karl Malden ... Father Devlin
Edmond O'Brien ... Capt. Glover - HMCS Cayuga
Arthur O'Connell ... Warden J.B. Chandler
Gary Merrill ... Pa Demara
Joan Blackman ... Lt. Catherine Lacey
Raymond Massey ... Abbott Donner
Robert Middleton ... R.C. Brown
Jeanette Nolan ... Ma Demara
Sue Ane Langdon ... Eulalie Chandler
Larry Gates ... Cardinal
Mike Kellin ... Clifford Thompson
Frank Gorshin ... Barney
Cindi Wood ... WAC Lieutenant
Dick Sargent ... Hotchkiss (as Richard Sargent)
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Storyline

Based on a true story, a bright young man who hasn't the patience for the normal way of advancement finds that people rarely question you if your papers are in order. He becomes a marine, a monk, a surgeon onboard a Canadian Warship, and a prison warden. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No wonder millions who read the sensational best seller about incredible Fred Demara say it makes fiction seem tame...No wonder his story was featured 3 different times in LIFE See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Korean

Release Date:

February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El gran impostor See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Tony Curtis as Demara is shown boarding HMCS Cayuga (a Tribal Class destroyer) which was the actual ship the real Demara sailed in. See more »

Goofs

Curtis is assigned to HMCS Cayuga on 16 June 1951. However, in the Captain's cabin, the picture on the wall is of Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI. Also the portrait appears to be the 1956 Annigoni painting of the queen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Matinee Wives (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Treasure Trove of TV Icons Past
18 May 2016 | by thejcowboy22See all my reviews

A precursor to the Movie Catch Me If You Can in 2002. Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. took all the short cuts and most certainly did not play by anyone's rules. From being a poor boy in Massachusetts to a Naval Surgeon in Her Majesty's Royal Canadian Navy. This movie is quite a ride for the adventurous soul hidden in all of us. From the army Prisoner to becoming a prison warden's right hand man, Mr. Demara is an employer's dream doing everything asked of him and more. Tony Curtis exploits his charm and personality in all those demanding and responsible occupations and somehow pulling off the near impossible with spectacular results.As we follow Waldo throughout his life's journey we just happen to notice Television personalities burst on the scenes. Doodles Weaver, Larry Gates, Gary Merrill, Edmund O'Brien,Jerry Paris and David White as we see a Bewitched TV show connection here. Raymond Massey portrays an Abbott. Arthur O'Connell plays a Prison Warden to name a few. Doodles Weaver shows up as an inebriated truck driver. Dick Sargent and David White both play Doctors. Frank Gorshin and Mike Kellin show their talents as disgruntled convicts.Always 10 steps behind is Karl Malden (Fr. Devlin), who is the Demara's family Priest as he tries to follow our mountebank along his dissent from one job to another always Ten steps ahead. Fun for all to watch and just when the authorities step in to catch our star in the act you'll be surprised who is hired to solve this dilemma. Great vehicle for Tony Curtis!


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