Release dateAugust 22, 1947 (1947-08-22) (United States) WriterDon Martin (original screenplay), Doris Miller (additional dialogue) GenresFilm noir, Drama, Thriller, Crime Fiction, Black-and-white CastAlbert Dekker (Kenneth Holden), Catherine Craig (Claire Worthington), Charles Drake (Dr. Leonard Koster), Alan Carney (Victor Korrin), Linda Stirling (Flo Ronson), Tom Kennedy (Fingers) Similar moviesRelated W Lee Wilder movies
The pretender 1947 film noir
The Pretender is a 1947 crime drama film noir directed by W. Lee Wilder starring Albert Dekker, Catherine Craig, Charles Drake and Alan Carney.
The story tells of Kenneth Holden (Dekker), a crooked investment businessman who embezzles a large sum of money from an estate. He hopes to cover his crime by marrying the estate's heiress Claire Worthington (Craig).
However, Worthington is already engaged, so Holden arranges for her fiancé to be killed. The hired hit man's only means of identifying the victim is the picture in the society columns. When Claire Worthington changes her mind and agrees to marry Holden, however, it means that it is his picture that will appear in the newspaper, thereby condemning him to death.
Desperately trying to contact the hit man, Holden discovers that the man is dead, but his successor is still at large.
Albert Dekker as Kenneth Holden
Catherine Craig as Claire Worthington
Charles Drake as Dr. Leonard Koster
Alan Carney as Victor Korrin
Linda Stirling as Flo Ronson
Tom Kennedy as Fingers
Selmer Jackson as Charles Lennox
Charles Middleton as William the butler
Ernie Adams as Thomas the butler
Ben Welden as Mickie
John Bagni as Hank Gordon
Stanley Ross as Stranger
Forrest Taylor as Dr. Harold Stevens
Greta Clement as Margie
Peter Michael as Stephen
Peggy Wynne as Miss Chalmers
Eula Guy as First Nurse
Cay Forrester as Evelyn Cossett
Michael Mark as Mike - Janitor
Dorothy Scott as Miss Michael
Critic Dennis Schwartz liked the film and wrote, "Billy Wilder's lesser known elder brother William Lee Wilder...directs this striking film noir about a successful man becoming paranoiac and placing himself in entrapment. In one amazing characteristic noir scene, the protagonist is seated on the floor of his unlit, locked room eating crackers and canned food, afraid of being poisoned. This is one of the first movies to score for theremin, an effectively chilling mood music which later became a cliché for many 1950s sci-fi films about aliens. John Alton's dark film noir photography sets the proper mood for the melodrama. The film noir is absorbing despite stilted dialogue and flat direction."