|Directed by||Stanley Tucci|
|Produced by||Elizabeth W. Alexander,
|Written by||Stanley Tucci|
|Music by||William Cook,
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures|
|Release dates||October 2, 1998 (USA)|
|Running time||101 minutes|
The film, in which Oliver Platt and Stanley Tucci play a Laurel and Hardy-like odd couple of out-of work actors, is set in the depression-era 1930s; indeed, the retro style of the film is a recreation of 30s screwball comedy. The opening silent sequence harks back to the golden days of silent film.
Arthur (Tucci) and Maurice (Platt) scrape a living by petty swindles and practice their acting technique whenever they can. Following a drunken confrontation with pretentious and dreadful Shakespearean actor Sir Jeremy Burtom (Alfred Molina), they are forced to hide as stowaways on an ocean liner. Unfortunately for the duo, Burtom himself turns out to be a passenger on the ship, along with a vividly diverse ensemble of larger-than-life characters — Steve Buscemi plays a suicidal crooner named Happy Franks who sobs through a song; Billy Connolly is an aging gay professional tennis player; Tony Shalhoub is the first mate who is also a mad bomber with his own language; and many more.
Mistaken identities, pratfalls, slapstick, and general mayhem ensue. Although the plotting is light, the film is a warm-hearted and charming tribute to the early days of film comedy, fuelled by the eclectic mix of characters, who (as the title suggests) all turn out to be impostors of some kind; but the very diversity of the ensemble turns out to be the film's central point.
- Oliver Platt — Maurice
- Stanley Tucci — Arthur
- David Lipman — Baker in Kramer's Pastries
- Alfred Molina — Sir Jeremy Burtom
- Michael Emerson — Burtom's Assistant
- Matt Malloy — Mike who plays Laertes in "Hamlet"
- Lili Taylor — Lily a.k.a. 'Lil'
- Tony Shalhoub — Voltri, First Mate
- Teagle F. Bougere — Sheik
- Elizabeth Bracco — Pancetta Leaky
- Steve Buscemi — Happy Franks
- Dana Ivey - Mrs. Essendine
- Hope Davis - Emily Essendine
- Allison Janney — Maxine
- Matt McGrath — Detective Marco
- Richard Jenkins — Johnny Leguard
- Isabella Rossellini — The Veiled Queen
- Allan Corduner - Captain
- Campbell Scott — Meistrich
- Billy Connolly — Mr. Sparks, the Tennis Pro
- Lewis J. Stadlen - Bandleader
- Woody Allen — Audition Director (uncredited)
Despite the star-studded cast (among the uncredited cameos are Woody Allen as a neurotic casting director), the film received generally mixed reviews. However, a core of critics and fans alike connected with the 30s-era style of filmmaking, and continue to rate it highly. The Impostors holds a 62% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
- "Festival de Cannes: The Impostors". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-03.