Strange Impersonation (1946)

stranhe impersonation 1946

Without question, one of the absolute worst movies I’ve ever seen. There is no excuse to release a movie this bad. If there’s anything positive about it that would be George Chandler’s small part as sleazy ambulance chaser J.W. Rinse.

Chemist Nora Goodrich (Brenda Marshall) is just about finishing her new anesthetic. She decides to test it on herself in the privacy of her penthouse. On leaving the lab she accidentally grazes a woman with her car and knocks her down. She’s Jane Karaski. Right away the sleazy  J.W.Rinse (George Chandler) rushes over with his business card and tries to convince Jane she’s really hurt. Nora drives her home and Rinse follows in a cab. When Nora leaves Rinse goes to visit Jane.

Nora’s fiance, Dr.Stephen Lindstrom (William Gargan) is about to leave for a good job in France. He wants Nora to marry him before he goes. She chases him out of her place so she can do her test..

Lab technician Arline Cole (Hillary Brooke) comes in to take notes. Steve left his briefcase behind but Nora will take it to him at the office tomorrow. She injects herself with her formula and nods off. After a while she’s not waking up. Arline grins and puts enough formula into a tube to start a fire. That’s when Steve comes back in for his briefcase. He puts out the fire but Nora is disfigured.

Steve’s got some bucks and Arline plots and plans how to get her hands on him and thereby his money. Her scheme works and Nora and Steve’s engagement is over. Nora’s out of the hospital and back home. Jane drops in. She says Rinse told her she could get twenty-five grand for the accident. She starts grabbing Nora’s jewelery including her engagement ring. Then she takes money out of Nora’s purse and goes looking for more. All this while she has a gun on Nora.

Having had just about enough, Nora jumps her and they end up on the balcony. The gun goes off and then Jane goes off….the balcony. She falls all the way down and lands flat on her face. She’s unrecognizable. Because of the engagement ring everyone thinks she’s Nora.

Nora heads out to L.A. for some plastic surgery. She’s operated on by Dr.Mansfield (H.B.Warner). It’s a success. She looks just like Jane. One day in the hospital she reads a trade magazine. It has a nice picture of Steve and his new wife Arline. After recovering from the surgery Nora heads back to New York.

Under the Jane Karaski name she gets a job as Steve’s lab assistant. She says she was an old college friend of Nora’s. Three months go by. Steve is smitten and asks her to go to France with him. He tells her he and Arline never loved each other anyway and he knew it was all about his position and bank account.

Arline goes to Nora’s place and she’s finally told the truth. Nora threatens her with a gun and she gets out of there. Steve and Nora are about to leave on a plane for France when here comes Rinse with a couple cops. Nora is arrested for murdering herself. The cops still think she’s Jane. Inspector Malloy (Lyle Talbot) tries to get to the bottom of it all.

The ending isn’t just bad it is totally insulting. In retrospect it’s actually tipped off in the first couple minutes of this mess.

Hillary Brooke played dozens of dramatic parts but showed her comedic side on TV as the girlfriend of Lou Costello on “The Abbott And Costello Show” (1952-53) and as Roberta Townsend on “My Little Margie” (1952-55).

Early TV fans know George Chandler as Uncle Petrie Martin on “Lassie” (1956-59) and as Ichabod Adams on “Ichabod And Me” (1961-62).

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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