Who Is Clark Rockefeller?
|Who Is Clark Rockefeller?|
|Written by||Edithe Swensen|
|Directed by||Mikael Salomon|
|Theme music composer||Jeff Toyne|
|Country of origin||United States|
John M. Eckert
|Editor(s)||Michael D. Ornstein|
|Running time||120 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Sony Pictures Television|
|Original network||Lifetime Television|
|Original release||March 13, 2010|
Who Is Clark Rockefeller? is a 2010 American police procedural television film directed by Mikael Salomon and written and co-produced by Edithe Swensen. It stars Eric McCormack as Christian Gerhartsreiter/Clark Rockefeller and Sherry Stringfield as Sandra Boss. The film is based on the life of Christian Gerhartsreiter, a German con artist who for years impersonated many people, at one point claiming to be part of the Rockefeller family going by the faux name "Clark Rockefeller", and kidnapping his daughter. Filming took place in Toronto in October 2009 and was released on March 13, 2010 on the Lifetime network to mixed reviews.
Called "the longest running con in FBI history," Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, the man that people knew as "Clark Rockefeller" (McCormack) had brilliantly impersonated numerous people, ranging from a talk show host to a Pentagon Advisor before ultimately claiming to be an heir to the famous Rockefeller family. Confident from the success of his prior scams, Clark quickly became well known and highly respected among Boston's elite and used his purported high society status to charm his way into the life of Sandra Boss (Stringfield), a millionaire with a Harvard MBA and a partner at the prestigious management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. Following a whirlwind courtship, the two married and had a daughter, before their rocky 12-year union ended in divorce, leading Clark to abduct his beloved daughter after losing custody to Sandra. With the help of FBI agent Megan Norton (Taylor), Sandra's search for her daughter exposed Clark's lifelong con game for the world to see and ultimately raised questions about the real man and the deception he is capable of.
- Eric McCormack as Christian Gerhartsreiter/Clark Rockefeller, a German con artist. In order to prepare for the role, McCormack read everything about Gerhartsreiter's case, studied Natalie Morales's jailhouse interview, and also read his Vanity Fair profile. McCormack said, "The dialogue in the scene was based on public record".
- Sherry Stringfield as Sandra Boss, Gerhartsreiter's ex-wife
- Regina Taylor as Megan, a FBI detective
- Philip Akin as Det. Lewis Cook
- Stephen McHattie as Mark, a FBI detective
- Emily Alyn Lind as Reigh ("Snooks"), Gerhartsreiter and Sandra's daughter
The film was met with mixed reviews. Brian Lowry of Variety said, "Who Is Clark Rockefeller? plays a bit like The Great Imposter, only with a woman caught up in the 'She's young, beautiful — and she married a con man!' scenario in the best Lifetime tradition. Sherry Stringfield stars as the hapless gal, whose character would be more sympathetic if she hadn't agreed to call her daughter 'Snooks'." He went on to praise McCormack's performance by saying, "But the real kitsch factor resides in Eric McCormack's performance as the suave charmer, which adds an element of high camp to the proceedings. Mike Hale of The New York Times said in his review that, "As a mystery and a police procedural, Who Is Clark Rockefeller? attains glossy mediocrity, but every few minutes Mr. McCormack shows up and says something like, 'You were tedious about money when I married you, and you’re still tedious,' and it feels like Will & Grace all over again." He went on to praise Stringfield's performance by saying, "[she] gives a dignified, believable performance as Sandra Boss."
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- Mark Seal. "The Man in the Rockefeller Suit". Vanity Fair. (Condé Nast Publications). January 2009. Accessed April 26, 2010.