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Imitation General

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Imitation General
Imitation General FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGeorge Marshall
Written byWilliam Bowers
Based onImitation General
1956 short story
by William Chamberlain
Produced byWilliam B. Hawks
StarringGlenn Ford
Red Buttons
Taina Elg
CinematographyGeorge J. Folsey
Edited byHarold F. Kress
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • August 20, 1958 (1958-08-20)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,165,000[1]

Imitation General is a 1958 black-and-white comedy war film in CinemaScope, directed by George Marshall, produced by William B. Hawks, and starring Glenn Ford, Red Buttons, and Taina Elg. The film, distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, is based on a short story of the same name by William Chamberlain.


In the aftermath of a big battle during World War II, US Brigadier General Charles Lane (Kent Smith), Master Sergeant Murphy "Murph" Savage (Glenn Ford), and Corporal Chan Derby (Red Buttons) find themselves cut off behind enemy lines. The general takes over a farmhouse belonging to annoyed Frenchwoman Simone (Taina Elg). Lane determines that there is a gap in the German lines and decides to organize a defense from whatever stragglers he can gather together. Shortly afterwards, however, he is killed saving Murph's life.

The first American soldier to show up, Corporal Terry Sellers (Dean Jones), mistakes Murph for Lane (Murph is holding the general's helmet), giving him an idea. Recalling Lane's assessment that leadership is desperately needed to rally the disorganized troops, Murph masquerades as the general, with Derby and Simone's reluctant help. Murph manages to repulse a couple of attacks spearheaded by German tanks, all the while avoiding Private Orville Hutchmeyer (Tige Andrews), who knows Murph and holds a grudge against him.

At the end of the engagement, Murph is knocked out by shrapnel, allowing him to "die" and resume his real identity.


Box office

According to MGM records, the film earned $1,915,000 in the US and Canada and $1,250,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $1,095,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 April 2021, at 12:22
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