The Match King

  • 1932
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Crime

This is an unabashed biography of spectacular international swindler Ivar Kreuger, made hot on the heels of Kreuger's suicide in Paris after he was exposed as a giant fraud, having bilked thousands of investors out of millions by selling worthless stock in his many bogus European companies. The film begins in Paris as Warren William (playing Paul Kroll,...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

This is an unabashed biography of spectacular international swindler Ivar Kreuger, made hot on the heels of Kreuger's suicide in Paris after he was exposed as a giant fraud, having bilked thousands of investors out of millions by selling worthless stock in his many bogus European

companies. The film begins in Paris as Warren William (playing Paul Kroll, the fictionalized Krueger character) realizes he is about to be revealed as a swindler and contemplates suicide. He thinks back to his beginnings and, in flashback, is shown as a street cleaner in Chicago, where he plans a

murder in his fantastic scheme to monopolize the common kitchen match. He swindles bankers into pumping money into his phony firms, using and discarding women as if they were burned-out matches. Along the way, the suave William attracts a famous European film star, Lily Damita, who dresses, acts,

and talks like Greta Garbo, and for good reason. Garbo was reportedly duped into investing substantial funds in Kreuger's bogus schemes. Director Howard Bretherton deftly, and at a startling pace, details a sinister career of murder, blackmail, and forgery that is no more fanciful than Kreuger's

actual machinations. (Kreuger built his fortune by offering some Italian bonds, which he had masterfully forged, as collateral for his multi-million-dollar loans; only when these bonds were exposed as fake did his career end.) The overall production of this film is superior. William is a wonder to

behold, handling his conniving role with marvelous restraint. Damita is a bit campy as the Garbo-like actress who dumps her lover-entrepreneur after suspecting his empire is about to collapse. All in all, THE MATCH KING is an intriguing artifact of the early talkie era.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This is an unabashed biography of spectacular international swindler Ivar Kreuger, made hot on the heels of Kreuger's suicide in Paris after he was exposed as a giant fraud, having bilked thousands of investors out of millions by selling worthless stock in… (more)

Show More »