MAN WITH MY FACE, THE
(director/writer: Edward Montagne; screenwriters: from the novel by Samuel W. Taylor/Samuel W. Taylor/Vin Bogert/T.J. McGowan; cinematographer: Fred Jackman Jr.; editor: Gene Milford; music: Robert McBride; cast: Barry Nelson (Charles ‘Chick’ Graham / Albert ‘Bert’ Rand), Jack Warden (Walt Davis), Carole Mathews (Mary Davis), Lynn Ainley (Cora Cox Graham), Jim Boles (Meadows), John Harvey (Buster Cox), Henry Lascoe (The Police Sergeant), Johnny Kane (Al Grant), Chinita Marin (Juanita); Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward F. Gardner; United Artists; 1951)
“The B film has a good premise over mistaken identity, but a lousy execution.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Psychological thriller directed by Edward Montagne (“Project X”/”The Tattooed Stranger“/”McHale’s Navy“). The B film has a good premise over mistaken identity, but a lousy execution. Montagne keeps it good enough as a diversionary time killer, but it’s just too bad it never was convincing. It’s based on the novel by Samuel W. Taylor.
Ex-GI Chick Graham (Barry Nelson) settled down in San Juan, Puerto Rico after the war and married material girl Cora (Lynn Ainley). She’s the sister of Buster Cox (John Harvey), Chick’s army buddy and partner in the accounting business. Returning from work one day an imposter, named Albert Rand (Barry Nelson), claims to be Chick and that’s verified by his wife and Buster. The pair of liars convince the police sergeant (Henry Lascoe) summoned that lookalike Rand is the real Chick. Outside the police station where Chick is taken into custody, Rand’s henchman, dog trainer Meadows (Jim Boles), orders his Doberman pincher to kill Chick. The dog mistakenly attacks the policeman and Chick escapes. Wishing to clear his name, Chick contacts the sweet Mary Davis (Carole Mathews), his former girlfriend, the girl he should have married, and along with her brother Walt (Jack Warden) they investigate this strange tale.
It all becomes clear after awhile that Rand stole $1,000,000 worth of bonds in a Florida bank, and this elaborate scheme for Rand to escape detection was cooked up when Buster and Chick were in the army together. The rotten wife and her back-stabbing brother make a deal with Grant to steal Chick’s identity, while Chick is supposedly made the patsy who gets accused of the robbery. Rand’s treacherous partners are content in splitting the stolen loot with the ruthless criminal and are so heartless they could care less about what happens to Chick.
Warning: spoiler in the next paragraph.
The most exciting scene is the climactic one, where the killer dog is primed to kill Chick but instead is fooled into attacking Rand. It was filmed on location in Puerto Rico, in black and white.
REVIEWED ON 2/12/2011 GRADE: B-