Watch The Masquerader putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 6.4/10 from N/A votes
||Release: 03 Sep 1933 /
||Director: Richard Wallace,
||Synopsis: Ronald Coleman plays an MP addicted to drugs, and a double recruited to cover for him.
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'The Masquerader', an obscure drama starring Ronald Colman, is very
similar in its premise and subplots to Colman's great vehicle 'The
Prisoner of Zenda' ... but he did 'The Masquerader' first. As in
'Zenda', Colman plays lookalike cousins who meet after many years of
living in two different countries ... one of whom has an opportunity to
take over the other's life, while falling in love with the other man's
Colman's main role is John Loder (no relation to the bland actor of
that name), a disaffected journalist who returns to his native England
after many years abroad. Loder's more successful cousin is Sir John
Chilcote, a prominent member of Parliament. But Chilcote is secretly a
morphine addict, and his addiction is becoming harder to conceal. Also
concealed (not very well) is Chilcote's philandering relationship with
Lady Joyce, while his estranged wife Eve (Lady Chilcote) is humiliated
on the sidelines.
When Sir John's addiction causes him to collapse just before he
introduces a crucial piece of legislation, Chilcote's loyal manservant
Brock persuades Loder to impersonate his cousin. Loder, pretending to
be Chilcote, gives an impassioned speech on the floor of Commons. Lady
Chilcote has been estranged from her husband for years; now, attending
this speech, she wonders why she is suddenly attracted to her husband
again ... not realising that this is actually Loder impersonating Lady
Chilcote's husband. (Shades of Princess Flavia in 'Zenda'.) Meanwhile,
Loder (still pretending to be Chilcote) is utterly cold to Chilcote's
mistress Lady Joyce, much to her bafflement.
SPOILERS COMING. Sir John dies of his addiction, without this becoming
public knowledge. Brock persuades Loder to abandon his own life and
become Sir John Chilcote permanently, appropriating Chilcote's wealth
and reputation. Of course, this means that Loder will now be married to
Lady Chilcote. Hmmm...
'The Masquerader' is not very plausible, yet it's quite enjoyable.
Ronald Colman gives two distinctly different performances in the
lookalike roles... although his turn as the drug-addicted Chilcote is a
bit too overwrought. Moss Hart's smooth dialogue papers over some of
the cracks in the plot line. Gregg Toland's photography is up to his
usual high standard, and I was especially impressed by the scenes in
which both Ronald Colmans are on screen at the same go. (Most dual-role
movies made during this period featured flat sideline lighting during
the double-exposure sequences; Toland avoids this.) Also
well-photographed is a night sequence in Hyde Park (filmed on the
Goldwyn Studio's backlot); Toland keeps the lighting bright enough for
us to see the action, but dark enough to minimise the obvious fakery of
the scenery. Creighton Hale is good in a small role. In the role of
Lady Eve Chilcote, Elissa Landi is appropriately patrician (and
slightly less blonde than usual), but her performance is weak. In the
role of Lady Joyce, Juliette Compton is so dull and unattractive that I
had difficulty believing Sir John would ever prefer her to his wife.
The studio reconstruction of the House of Commons is a lot more
convincing than I expected it to be, especially for a Yank film. I'll
rate this movie 8 out of 10.
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