LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN and other cases of mistaken identity

It’s one of the oldest entertainment tropes there is, dating right back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Whether the audience is in on the trick or not, there are dozens of ways to play with identity confusion from rom-coms to thrillers. Some of them can leave you wondering if anyone is who you think they are! LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN — which airs on Friday at 10P and throughout the month — takes us deep into the heart of tangled identities, the mob, and more, but it’s not the only thriller relying on this trope to keep audiences tingling with anticipation…


Slevin Kelevra is just your ordinary guy staying in a friend’s apartment until he’s kidnapped and taken to “The Boss,” who demands repayment of debts he’s never even heard of…because he’s not Nick Fisher, the guy The Boss is looking for. That’s bad enough, but when rival “The Rabbi” kidnaps him too, he’s set off on a spiral of crime, confusion, and danger. Keep watching, though, because this movie has more twists to offer and no one is who you think they are.

UNKNOWN (2011)

Martin Harris is on his way to a biotechnology summit when he’s involved in a traumatic car accident with his wife, damaging his memory and plunging him into a confusing world when he wakes up and sees his wife with another man. As he tries to fit the pieces of his life back together, he learns that there’s more going on here than a simple case of a brilliant scientist attending a conference, and he holds the keys to a lot of secrets inside his injured head.

FACE/OFF (1997)

This box office hit brought action and mistaken identity to the big screen along with terrorist plots, vendettas, and more. Sean Archer goes deep undercover with a terrorist cell via a radical and experimental face transplant, a prescient plot considering that the first successful face transplant occurred in Spain in 2010, when a man who was injured in a shooting accident was treated by a surgical team who gave him a full-face donor transplant. Wearing a mask he can’t remove, Archer sets out to get justice in a film heavily influenced by Hong Kong-style action flicks.


In an earlier iteration of the car wreck followed by amnesia meme, SHATTERED centered around Judith and Dan Merrick. When Dan wakes up after an accident in which he was severely injured, he struggles to understand what happened to him, and doesn’t understand why so many aspects of his prior life don’t quite fit together the way they should. When he finds evidence that his wife was having an affair, he starts digging a little deeper, and what he discovers utterly shocks him.


Any homage to this genre is not complete without a nod to NORTH BY NORTHWEST, the Hitchcock classic starring Cary Grant as Roger O. Thornhill, a man pursued across the country after being mistaken for someone else. There’s drama, an exciting train scene, and so much more in what some people regard as one of Hitchcock’s greatest films; it’s a must-see if you haven’t had a chance yet!