The Great Impersonation (1935 film)

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The Great Impersonation
The Great Impersonation (1935 film).jpg
Directed by Alan Crosland
Written by Eve Greene
Frank Wead
Based on The Great Impersonation by E. Phillips Oppenheim
Produced by Edmund Grainger
Starring Edmund Lowe
Valerie Hobson
Wera Engels
Murray Kinnell
Cinematography Milton R. Krasner
Edited by Philip Cahn
Music by Heinz Roemheld
Clifford Vaughan
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • December 9, 1935 (1935-12-09)
Running time
68 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Great Impersonation is a 1935 American drama film directed by Alan Crosland and starring Edmund Lowe, Valerie Hobson and Wera Engels. It was adapted from the 1920 novel The Great Impersonation by E. Phillips Oppenheim. It was made by Universal Pictures with some aesthetic similarities to the Universal Horror films of the 1930s. [1] Two other film versions of the story were made with the same title in 1921 and 1942 respectively.



Before the First World War, Sir Everard Dominey, a drunken upper-class Englishman, encounters an old acquaintance the sinister German arms dealer Baron Leopold von Ragostein in Africa. The two men are identical, and von Ragostein plans to kill his doppelganger and take his place in British high society where he will be able to further his arms business and spy on Britain for the German Empire. He arranges the murder with his various associates.

When "Dominey" returns to London shortly afterwards, he encounters the German aristocrat Stephanie Elderstrom who is certain she recognises him as her former lover, von Ragostein. von Ragostein's associates attempt to buy her off but she remains convinced something untoward is going on. When he reaches Donimey Hall, Dominey's wife is equally certain that it is her genuine husband returning from Africa at long-last. Gradually, doubts begin to emerge whether it is the real Dominey who has come home.


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  1. Weaver p.148-153