Arch Hammer arrives in the city and checks into a seedy hotel. He looks like any other man but looks can be deceiving. Hammer has the ability to change his appearance at whim, a trick he definitely uses to his own advantage. He takes on the appearance of the recently deceased musician Johnny Foster. who died in a car accident. He goes to meet Maggie, a lounge singer who is mourning Foster's death, and convinces her to run off with him. He then takes on the appearance of Virge Sterig, a gangster whose bullet-riddled body was recently found in the river. He then visits mob boss Penell who double-crossed him to get his share of the money their most recent job. An unplanned change of face doesn't go over well, however. Written by
Though Hammer, Foster, Sterig, and Marshank had been planned to be performed by a sole actor using different makeup, the production crew timed the planned scene and noted his time wearing makeup would exceed that of him in front of the camera, so four actors were used. See more »
Spelling of Sterig is given as Steric in newspaper article. See more »
Virge, this is the happiest day of my life!
This is the happiest day of your life, how come you look like somebody just stuck lemon juice in your beer, huh?
No, Mr. Penell, you're not so happy. You got no reason to be happy. Believe me, Mr. Penell, I know. You got no reason to be happy. No reason at all. Now if you could've kept me in the river, a cold clammy little item without a voice,
*Then* you could've been happy. But this is one double-cross, Mr Penell, that...
[...] See more »
Harry Townes plays Arch Hammer, an unscrupulous man with the uncanny ability to transform himself into looking like any other man, which he does in the cases of three different men(played by Ross Martin, Don Gordon, and Philip Pine) for the purposes of personal gain, whether it be financial, romantic, or just as a matter of necessity. He can either scan newspaper photographs, posters, or see them in person to make the impersonation work, but in at least one case, it draws the unwanted attention of a revenge-seeking man with murderous intentions... Fine acting here, with good direction, though the details of the plot don't bear close scrutiny(like how he can impersonate not just looks, but voices and mannerisms as well.)
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