RR Films: Mistaken Identity

After mistakenly identifying La La Land as this year’s Best Picture, PwC managed to pick the correct envelope and steer the Oscar to Moonlight with only a minor kerfuffle (aka Disgrace! So Bad! Unfair! #LaLaTrueWinner). I’ve only seen the latter but I’m glad it prevailed, if only because it is filled with genuine humanity rather than jazz hands.

I’m looking for films this week in which someone/something is misidentified, such a mistake being material to the story. The 2012 documentary, The Imposter, is a fascinating tale of a boy who claims to be the missing son of a Texan family. How that claim is tested is quite mind-boggling.

So, Dudes, what films involving mistaken identity would you recommend?

29 thoughts on “RR Films: Mistaken Identity

  1. So, instead I shall nominate a personal favourite, which involves a lot of mistaken identities and people pretending to be other people.

    It is The Court Jester Starring Danny Kaye.

    • Last year the BBC showed the Twelfth Night production from The Globe with Stephen Fry – that was a great production. I made my teenager watch it – he still goes on about that. Granted, it was quite long!

  2. Two immediately spring to mind

    1) The Wrong Man – the only Hitchcock film to be based on a true story, that of Manny Balestrero who in trying to raise money on his life insurance to pay for his wife to have her wisdom teeth removed (!!) is misidentified as the man who has twice tried to hold up the place. He is arrested and due to this his wife Rose suffers depression and is hospitalised. His trial is declared a mistrial due to a comment from one of the jurors and it is while awaiting the retrial that the real robber commits another robbery and he is finally freed !

    2) Laura – an Otto Preminger film noir in which an advertising executive Laura Hunt is supposedly shot in the head at the beginning of the film and her death is investigated by the police. It is only halfway through the film, when she returns from a weekend in the country, that we discover that the woman shot in her flat is in fact a work colleague called Diane Redfern, who is wearing Laura’s clothes, and not the real Laura ! The murderer, a jealous lover, ( Clifton Webb) tries again but is shot before he can carry out the deed.

  3. I’ll name check Galaxy Quest which I think was suggested here for another topic and also Whistle Down the Wind where Hayley Mills thinks that Alan Bates is Jesus.

    But my actual pick is Tony Hancock’s The Rebel. Where he is mistaken for the talented artist of some representational paintings. When his real work is – a bit less conventional. Although personally I preferred them. Especially the one of the foot.

    • One of the Life of Brian actors, Terence Baylor, died last year. He delivered two of the best lines in the film. The notorious “I’m not” response to everyone else’s “we are all individuals” and my favourite “I’m Brian and so is my wife”.
      According to the obituaries, he ad libbed both lines. They weren’t in the script and the other cast members were not expecting them. For the latter one he was just expected to say “I’m Brian” like all the others had.
      I know sometimes there are stories like that which turn out to be myths but I do really want to believe this one.

  4. A History Of Violence for some mistaken, mistaken identity.

    Spoiler alert. The Prestige

    Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Has to be the 70’s version.

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