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Hollow Triumph [VHS]

3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Eduard Franz, Leslie Brooks, John Qualen
  • Directors: Steve Sekely
  • Writers: Daniel Fuchs, Murray Forbes
  • Producers: Paul Henreid, Bryan Foy
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CVT7

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Director Steve Sekely (born in Hungary as István Székely) made many films over a long career stretching back to 1930, most notably The Day of The Triffids (1962). His fairly obscure film noir Hollow Triumph, alternately known as The Scar, is a gritty thriller about duplicity that delves into dual identities and doppelgangers. Starring Paul Henreid and Joan Bennett, the suspenseful 1948 movie explores a criminal on the run, encountering a chance too good to be true that ends in bitter irony.

Hollow Triumph has a lean, taunt narrative, clocking in at a relatively brisk 82 minutes. John Muller (Paul Henreid) is a career criminal and con man recently out from prison. He knocks over a casino with several associates for $200,000 in cash. The casino’s owner, a notorious gangster, promises the crooks will be hunted down until their dying days for his stolen money. Muller moves far away and attempts to go straight, finding an ordinary office job. Concerned he might still get caught with the money, he comes across an improbable stroke of luck. Muller discovers Dr. Bartok, a practicing psychologist, is practically his doppelganger, a dead ringer for the criminal with one exception. Bartok has a huge scar running down his face.

Muller sees his opportunity, soon striking a romance with Dr. Bartok’s secretary, Evelyn (Joan Bennett). John Muller uses the woman’s knowledge and access to glean insight on Bartok’s life and practice. Evelyn is an interesting femme fatale, somewhat atypical for noir of this period. Distrusting of men and bitter about her potential suitors, Evelyn takes up with Muller despite knowing he’s a con man at heart. Her story is more tragic and bittersweet than most femme fatales. Most will see what is coming next in Hollow Triumph.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This review is mostly based on the DVD and the move itself. I purchased the Film Detective Restored Version DVD and the quality is quite good and better than I expected for $10. Now, the quality isn't all the great at times, but it is watchable. I didn't buy any other DVD versions so I can't compare, but Film Detective version is quite good and I would recommend it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hollow Triumph is a somewhat neglected film noir. It has a fine cast, great LA locations (brilliantly photographed by John Alton) and an unusual dash of surrealism in the plot mechanics. My only complaint is that this DVD transfer lacks clarity (TCM had a better print) and actually shakes in spots. This film, like another neglected noir "I Love Trouble" deserves better treatment. Still, worth the price until a better print arrives.
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Format: DVD
"Hollow Triumph" aka "The Scar" stars Paul Henreid and Joan Bennett with brief appearances by Eduard Franz and John Qualen. The film combines elements of film noir with Hollywood's fascination with psychoanalysis.

Paul Henreid plays a petty criminal. He is best known as Victor Laslo, the French anti-Nazi fighter who comes between Bogart and Bergman in "Casablanca", and as Jerry Durrance, the man who lights two cigarettes at once and then hands the second to Bette Davis in "Now Voyager". Both films were released in 1942, making this quite a year for Henreid, and nothing to look forward to except a long downhill slide. After a series of forgettable films, in the 50s he transitioned to directing for film and TV

Beautiful and spunky Joan Bennett plays a secretary who has an affairs with Henreid. She is best remembered for her recurring role in the TV series "Dark Shadows", but in the 40s she was well known for her film noir roles, especially her work with Fritz Lang that started with "Man hunt" (1941). She and Lang formed a production company together, making such memorable films as "Woman in the Window" (1944) and "Scarlett Street" (1945), both of them with Edward G Robinson. Bennett does her usual excellent job here, and it's hard to understand why she isn't better known for her excellent body of work.

Eduard Franz plays Henreid's brother. This was his second film role. He had a varied career, from the Broadway stage to film and TV. Franz appeared in more than 50 films and made a successful transition to TV in the 50s. He had recurring roles as Gregorio in "Zorro" (1958) and as the Psychiatrist Dr. Raymer in "Breaking Point" (1963-4). Franz was extremely versatile and could play an Indian ("White Feather"), a Mexican ("Zorro"), a German ("Desert Fox"), etc.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is another disappointing "Film Detective" release. Near the end of the film there is a conversation between Muller and a charwoman that has been cut in this release. Thus a sadly incomplete version. I purchased "Algiers" and "Dishonored Lady" from Film Detective also, hoping they were remastered as claimed. They were barely an improvement on Alpha's dvds.
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Format: VHS Tape
One of the many stunning qualities of this film is John Alton's mysterious photography--but you won't see anything near to what he created in this dreadful transfer from second- or third-generation source. It's not even black and white! More like some murky sepia. Wait till somebody responsible puts this out right.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
While this is a good, basic film noir, I would not rate it higher than 3 stars in comparison to other films available during this film era. I would not give it four stars or more due to limitations in its plot and some aspects of the acting. Paul Henreid is a great actor and I seek out his movies; however, in this film his performance as a gangster (at the start of the film) appears strained. The plot is less plausible as the individual who turns out to be his double, also happens to have the same accent. To enjoy this film you must (1) love film noir (2) appreciate the talents of Paul Henreid and (3) not analyze the plot. I made it through numbers one and two, only.
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