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The Magnificent Fraud

The Magnificent Fraud(1939)

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The working titles of this film were The World's Applause and Caviar for His Excellency. According to the shooting script, the part of "Duval", played by Ernest Cossart, was originally set for Gene Lockhart, and that of "Ruiz," played by Abner Biberman, for Anthony Quinn. A pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that George Raft and Isa Miranda were to star in this film. Advertisements emphasized Akim Tamiroff as "The Man of a Thousand Faces," and also pictured him as the actor Jules La Croix playing King Henry VIII, Cyrano and Napoleon. According to contemporary sources, exteriors of "San Cristobal" and the grounds around the presidential palace were shot at Balboa Park in San Diego, CA. and the company returned after principal photography for a week of retakes. An actual 22-foot statue of Tamiroff as Alvarado was commissioned from Albert Sylva, Paramount sculptor. In South American countries, The Magnificent Fraud was released under the translation of the title of the unpublished Charles G. Booth story on which it was based, Caviare para su exelencia. Actress Virginia Dabney and director Robert Florey were married shortly after this film was released. Dabney later married actor Lloyd Nolan in the 1980s after both were widowed. The 1988 Universal film Moon Over Parador, directed by Paul Mazursky and starring Richard Dreyfuss has a similar plot to that of The Magnificent Fraud.