The Great Impersonation


1h 7m 1935

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 9, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Great Impersonation by E. Phillips Oppenheim (Boston, 1920).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

In 1914 in East Africa, English nobleman Sir Everard Dominey, who abandoned his wife and home, is rescued from the jungle by Baron Leopold von Ragostein, a former classmate and his exact look-alike. Dominey, who had been lion hunting, was abandoned by his crew and collapsed due to exhaustion and alcoholism. Austrian Leopold has been working for German Sir Ivan Brunn, a munitions manufacturer, who has been infiltrating war departments around Europe to instigate war, and who also is plotting to destroy England's munitions factories when the war erupts. Leopold, who was banished from Austria for killing his lover Princess Stephanie's husband in a duel, plots with Dr. Treak to have Dominey killed, while he impersonates him and returns to England to work for Brunn's cause. Unknown even to Dr. Treak, Dominey overhears their plans and kills Leopold, returning to England as Leopold impersonating himself. Dominey is assisted by Seaman, Brunn's right hand man, and at his estate, discovers his wife Eleanor has gone temporarily insane because she believes he killed the housekeeper Mrs. Unthank's son on their wedding night and left his body in the infamous Black Bog. Thoroughly reformed, Dominey restores Eleanor's faith in him and his family name, and fends off the advances of Stephanie, who believes he is Leopold. Dominey flushes out Mrs. Unthank's son, who is actually alive and, because of his insanity, has been terrorizing Eleanor. Mrs. Unthank shoots her own son to save him from certain misery at the hands of mental institutions. Dominey goes along with Brunn's plans and has operatives and a special radio installed in the attic of his home. War is declared, and Seaman succeeds in his plans, but before he leaves for Europe, Stephanie brings Dr. Treak to the estate and he reveals Dominey. Dominey overcomes Seaman and shoots out the radio, then becomes a national hero for exposing the munitions plot. While recovering from a gunshot wound received during his chase after Seaman, Dominey is commended by the king and reunites with his wife.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 9, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Productions, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Great Impersonation by E. Phillips Oppenheim (Boston, 1920).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The Variety review notes that the audience "...giggled a bit...when Edmund Lowe...went up to bed with candles. An hour or so later a sliding panel attempt on his life has him pushing an electric light switch...Probably doesn't matter that the 1914 characters are dressed throughout in 1935 modishness and drive around in stream-lined automobiles." According to production charts in Hollywood Reporter Halliwell Hobbes and Edward Cooper were cast in the film, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. A pre-release news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that Arthur Caesar was assigned to work on the screenplay. His contribution to the final film is undetermined. In 1921, Paramount released The Great Impersonation, based on the same source, directed by George Melford and starring James Kirkwood and Ann Forrest (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.2226).