The Impostor (1944)

93-94 mins | Drama | 11 February 1944

Director:

Julien Duvivier

Writer:

Julien Duvivier

Producer:

Julien Duvivier

Cinematographer:

Paul Ivano

Editor:

Paul Landres

Production Designers:

John Goodman, Eugene Lourie

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Passport to Dakar . Allyn Joslyn was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox for the production. The viewed print bore the title Strange Confession , which was a television release ... More Less

The working title of this film was Passport to Dakar . Allyn Joslyn was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox for the production. The viewed print bore the title Strange Confession , which was a television release title. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Feb 1944.
---
Daily Variety
4 Feb 44
p. 3, 11
Film Daily
10-Feb-44
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 43
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 44
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
12 Feb 44
p. 1754.
New York Times
27 Mar 44
p. 17.
New Yorker
1 Apr 1944.
---
Variety
9 Feb 44
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
William Davidson
Don Dillaway
Carlyle Blackwell
Paul Zaremba
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Dial adpt from the French by
Addl dial
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score and dir
SOUND
Dir of sd
[Sd] tech
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
MUSIC
"La Marseillaise," music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.
SONGS
"Silent Night, Holy Night," music by Franz Gruber, lyrics by Joseph Mohr, English lyrics, anonymous.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Passport to Dakar
Release Date:
11 February 1944
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Washington, D.C.: 27 January 1944
Production Date:
23 August--mid November 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
7 February 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12504
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93-94
Length(in feet):
8,508
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9824
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Clement, an unrepentant murderer, narrowly escapes the guillotine when a German bombing raid levels the prison in Tours, France. As the Nazis march on Paris, Clement joins some soldiers leaving the French capital to regroup in the south, and soon after, a German plane bombs their truck, killing most of the men. Clement steals the uniform and papers of Sergeant Maurice LaFarge, then assumes the dead soldier's identity. Along with the remains of the defeated French army, Clement arrives in the seacoast town of St. Jean De Luz, where he boards a freighter bound for Dakar, along with soldiers Bouteau, Hafner, Cochery and Monge. Learning that DeGalle is organizing a new army, the soldiers, led by Lieutenant Vareene, asks the captain to re-route the ship. The freighter then lands at Pointe Noire, in French Equatorial Africa, where the soldiers enlist in the Free French Army. Clement continually searches for ways to escape his new unit, but is soon promoted to adjutant by Vareene. The soldiers then head up the Congo on a steamship to Bangui, where they join a troop convoy and travel into the jungles of North Africa. Because of Hafner's expertise, the unit is ordered to set up a radio outpost, rather than join the troops fighting farther north in Libya. With no contact with the outside world other than radio reports and an occasional air shipment, the soldiers soon begin to get on each other's nerves. Vareene contracts jungle fever, and in a fit of madness, accidentally shoots Monge. To raise the spirits of the recovering Monge, the soldiers stage a Christmas celebration, during which they also express their gratitude ... +


Clement, an unrepentant murderer, narrowly escapes the guillotine when a German bombing raid levels the prison in Tours, France. As the Nazis march on Paris, Clement joins some soldiers leaving the French capital to regroup in the south, and soon after, a German plane bombs their truck, killing most of the men. Clement steals the uniform and papers of Sergeant Maurice LaFarge, then assumes the dead soldier's identity. Along with the remains of the defeated French army, Clement arrives in the seacoast town of St. Jean De Luz, where he boards a freighter bound for Dakar, along with soldiers Bouteau, Hafner, Cochery and Monge. Learning that DeGalle is organizing a new army, the soldiers, led by Lieutenant Vareene, asks the captain to re-route the ship. The freighter then lands at Pointe Noire, in French Equatorial Africa, where the soldiers enlist in the Free French Army. Clement continually searches for ways to escape his new unit, but is soon promoted to adjutant by Vareene. The soldiers then head up the Congo on a steamship to Bangui, where they join a troop convoy and travel into the jungles of North Africa. Because of Hafner's expertise, the unit is ordered to set up a radio outpost, rather than join the troops fighting farther north in Libya. With no contact with the outside world other than radio reports and an occasional air shipment, the soldiers soon begin to get on each other's nerves. Vareene contracts jungle fever, and in a fit of madness, accidentally shoots Monge. To raise the spirits of the recovering Monge, the soldiers stage a Christmas celebration, during which they also express their gratitude to Clement for his leadership during Vareene's illness. After four months, the unit, except for the wounded Monge, is ordered to Brazzaville, and Clement is promoted to 2nd lieutenant. Along the way, they are attacked by a German patrol and assumed dead, but only Hafner is killed. While the three enlisted men return to their jungle outpost, a wounded Vareene is taken to the military hospital, where he meets Clauzel, a good friend of the real LaFarge. Clement, in the meantime, is decorated for his heroism and promoted to 1st lieutenant. Later, Yvonne, LaFarge's fiancée, arrives at the jungle outpost to visit her beloved, only to find Clement. The fugitive confesses all to her, but, after learning about Clement's bravery from his comrades, she decides to keep his secret. A celebration is then held at Fort Lamy to commemorate the first anniversary of Free French Army, honoring heroes like Clement. Clauzel is there as well, and recognizes the fugitive. He tells Vareene all, but the lieutenant refuses to do anything until Clement finds him and insists on confessing. During his courtmartial, Clement refuses to reveal his true identity, and is defended by Vareene, who points out his feats of heroism and rebirth of spirit. Clement is then stripped of his rank, demoted to private and sent to the Libyan front. There, Clement distinguishes himself one final time by sacrificing himself to destroy a machine-gun nest. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.