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Great Impostor, The (Universal 1961, Tony Curtis, Karl Malden)



The true story of Ferdinand Waldo Demera, Jr., one of the world’s great frauds. In the ’50s, Demera (Tony Curtis) conned many by successfully impersonating a professor, a surgeon, a monk, a schoolteacher, and a prison warden–always with the FBI chasing his still-warm trail. Despite the incredible story, the movie is pretty hum-drum.

Congressman Robert Dornan made his film debut playing a reporter in The Great Impostor. Dornan was also seen in such films as X-15 (1961), The Starfighters (1964) and Hell on Wheels (1967).

production details
USA | Universal | 113 minutes | 1961

Director: Robert Mulligan
Producer: Robert Arthur
Original Story: Robert Crichton
Cinematography: Robert Burks
Editor: Frederic L. Knudtson
Music: Henry Mancini
Script: Liam O’Brien
Production Design: Alexander Golitzen
Set Designer: Julia Heron

Tony Curtis as Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. / Martin Donner / Dr. Gilbert / Ben. W. Stone / Dr. Joseph Mornay / Robert Boyd Hammnd
Jerry Paris as Attorney
Harry Carey, Jr. as Dr. Joseph Mornay
Karl Malden as Father Devlin
Arthur O’Connell as Warden J.B. Chandler
Larry Gates as Cardinal
Edmond O’Brien as Capt. Glover – HMCS Cayuga
Gary Merrill as Fred Demara Sr.
Joan Blackman as Lt. Catherine Lacey
Raymond Massey as Abbott Donner
Robert Middleton as R.C. Brown
Jeanette Nolan as Mrs. Mary Demara
Sue Ane Langdon as Eulalie Chandler
Mike Kellin as Clifford Thompson
Frank Gorshin as Barney
Dick Sargent as Hotchkiss
Doodles Weaver as Fertilizer Truck Driver
David White as Dr. Robert Boyd Hammond
Gage Clarke as Mr. Warren
Ted Knight as Reporter
Cindi Wood as WAC Lieutenant