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With: Brenda Marshall, William Gargan, Hillary Brooke, George Chandler, Ruth Ford, H.B. Warner, Lyle Talbot, Mary Treen, Cay Forrester, Dick Scott
Written by: Mildred Lord, based on a story by Lewis Herman, Anne Wigton
Directed by: Anthony Mann
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 68
Date: 03/16/1946

Strange Impersonation (1946)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Regret Identity

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

At first glance, Anthony Mann's early B-picture Strange Impersonation (1946) seems like a routine programmer. But a closer look shows some of Mann's pet themes already being explored, such as the connection between inner torment and external environment. In the film, Nora Goodrich (Brenda Marshall) is a scientist working alongside her true love Dr. Stephen Lindstrom (William Gargan), although she's more interested in working than in marrying him. While testing a new anesthetic, her backstabbing assistant (Hillary Brooke) sabotages her, sending her to the hospital and breaking up the lovers. Given a chance to start again with a new identity, Nora once again lands a job with the good doctor and proceeds to win him back, planning her revenge at the same time. Mann still had yet to develop the stark, high-contrast look that drove his later noirs, but Strange Impersonation is too interesting to write off.

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