Imitation General

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Imitation General
Imitation General FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by George Marshall
Produced by William B. Hawks
Written by William Bowers
Based on Imitation General
1956 short story
by William Chamberlain
Starring Glenn Ford
Red Buttons
Taina Elg
Cinematography George J. Folsey
Edited by Harold F. Kress
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • August 20, 1958 (1958-08-20)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $944,000[1]
Box office $3,165,000[1]

Imitation General is a 1958 CinemaScope war comedy film starring Glenn Ford, Red Buttons and Taina Elg. The film was based on a short story of the same name by William Chamberlain.

Plot summary[edit]

In the aftermath of a big battle during World War II, Brigadier General Charles Lane (Kent Smith), Master Sergeant Murphy "Murph" Savage (Glenn Ford) and Corporal Chan Derby (Red Buttons) find themselves cut off. The general takes over a farmhouse belonging to annoyed Frenchwoman Simone (Taina Elg). Lane determines that there is a gap in the 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 who shows 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 German attacks spearheaded by tanks, all the while avoiding Private Orville Hutchmeyer (Tige Andrews), who knows Murph and has 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 with no one the wiser.


Box office[edit]

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[edit]