Hollow Triumph

Hollow Triumph is an American crime drama that is based on the thrilling life of an ex-con who ultimately impersonates a debt-accumulating gambler.

This classic example of film noir features 83 minutes of intense action, twisted scheming and bittersweet moments of romance. This film is based on the novel Hollow Triumph, that was written by Murray Forbes.

Cast and Crew of Hollow Triumph

Hollow Triumph was directed by Steve Sekely, otherwise known as Stefan Szekely, who is best recognized for his role in directing the cult science fiction thriller, The Day of the Triffids.

The film was produced by Austrian born American actor and film director, Paul Henreid. Heinreid appeared in many films before his death in 1992 and has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, awarded for both film and photography.

Henreid plays the role of the lead, John Muller who also plays Dr. Victor Emil Bartok, the man he wishes to impersonate. There is quite an enormous cast list, with other actors credited including Joan Bennett, who plays Bartok’s secretary Evelyn Hahn, Eduard Franz as Frederick Muller and Leslie Brooks as Virginia Taylor.

Hollow Triumph Synopsis

This film begins with the main character, John Muller and his failed attempt at holding up an illegal casino, run by the ruthless and feared Rocky Stansyck, in spite of the fact that he’s only just been released from prison.

An angered Stansyck has a reputation for being relentless when it comes to tracking his enemies, who when found pay the ultimate price for their transgressions. Muller has no choice but to leave town and with the help of his brother, Frederick, escapes immediate danger remaining under the radar as a contributing citizen – this, however doesn’t sit well with Muller.

By chance, he happens to meet a dentist who reveals that, aside from a large scar that sits on the left side of his face, he looks exactly like Dr. Victor Emil Bartok, a psychoanalyst who works in the same building as he does. Muller then sees an opportunity to escape his troubles for good and does extensive research on the doctor, before getting caught in his office by the secretary, Evelyn. Evelyn mistakes Muller for the doctor at first, but after kissing him discovers he isn’t who she thinks he is.

Muller attempts to court Evelyn regardless, and even though she agrees to go out with him she claims to have given up on the idea of ever finding love.

The story later unfolds in a dramatic way when Muller makes the decision to go through with his plans to impersonate Dr. Bartok, however what he doesn’t realise is that the life he’s about to assume holds more problems than the one he’s running away from.

Hollow Triumph was released on the 18th of August in 1948 with a critic of The New York Times, Thomas M. Pryor  stating it as an adequate examination of an intelligent criminal type.

Hollow Triumph Production Notes

This film was noted as Paul Henreid’s first break into producing as opposed to his well-known acting career. Hollow Triumph was well received by film noir fans and was reissued as The Scar.