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The Fake

The Fake(1953)

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The Fake (1953)

The Fake (1953), a U.S./U.K. co-production, is a modest little mystery with two American stars headlining a British supporting cast. Dennis O'Keefe plays a detective assigned to guard a Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece, "Madonna and Child," when the painting is loaned by an American collector to London's Tate Gallery. He is on extra-high alert because two other da Vincis have recently been stolen in other cities and replaced by replicas. Coleen Gray plays the daughter of a suspect and becomes O'Keefe's love interest.

Made in England and released in America by United Artists, The Fake drew some attention for being the first film allowed to shoot inside the Tate Gallery, which opened its doors in 1897 as the National Gallery of British Art and is currently known as Tate Britain.

Otherwise, critics were ho-hum -- The Hollywood Reporter characterized the film only as "fairly diverting" -- and complained about what they considered an overly bombastic musical score.

Producer Steven Pallos and star Dennis O'Keefe would go on to collaborate three more times -- on The Diamond Wizard (1954), again made in England, Angela (1954), a film noir made in Italy, and El Aventurero (1957), made in Spain. In addition to starring in all, O'Keefe also co-wrote and co-directed the latter two.

O'Keefe and Coleen Gray would reunite on screen in Las Vegas Shakedown (1955).

By Jeremy Arnold

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