The Talented Mr. Rosenberg

Toronto conman Albert Rosenberg convinced banks, art galleries, elite investors — and his family — that he was a sophisticated, successful tycoon. How did he do it? And how did he get away with it for so long?
Albert Rosenberg image designed by Josh Sinclair.

“Albert Rosenberg is far worse than Bernie Madoff simply because he is a psychopath.”
- Diana B. Henriques, Author, The Wizard of Lies

The Talented Mr. Rosenberg is a revelatory look into our oh-so-susceptible selves and an investigation into the mind, motive and methods of a con artist — and his victims, including family and lovers, who fell for his cons over and over again.

In the tradition of films like The Tinder Swindler, Catch Me if You Can and Inventing Anna, this documentary tells the story of Albert Rosenberg, an audacious entrepreneur and life-long scam artist.

Albert Rosenberg convinced banks, art galleries and elite investors from Monaco to Toronto that he was a sophisticated, cultured tycoon with millions to spend and endless business schemes. He also managed to sell this fabricated identity to his wives and girlfriends until the multiple red flags became impossible to overlook. How did he do it? And how did he get away with it for so long?

Inspired by the investigative journalism of writer Courtney Shea in Toronto Life magazine, the film explores a world where cheats and swindlers may be a dime a dozen, but true con artists — like Bernie Madoff, Anna Sorokin and Albert Rosenberg — are elegant artists of persuasion and exploiters of trust. Why are they successful? And why do so many people fall or it, over and over again?

Drawing on scientific, dramatic and psychological perspectives, the film brings viewers into the world of the con, examining the relationship between artist and victim.

Through extraordinary and unprecedented interviews with Rosenberg himself, his daughter and his victims, The Talented Mr. Rosenberg should make you think twice every time a friend of a friend offers you the opportunity of a lifetime or you go on an online date with someone who seems too good to be true.

But the bottom line is: you won’t think twice, because that’s how humans are wired. The irony is the smarter you think you are, the more readily you’ll fall.

The Talented Mr. Rosenberg premieres at Hot Docs 2022. Coming to The Passionate Eye on CBC and CBC Gem in fall 2022.