Dead Ringer
  • Dead Ringer
  • Dead Ringer

Dead Ringer

4.2 5
Director: Paul Henreid

Cast: Karl Malden, Peter Lawford


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Though he's most famous for his portrayal of Victor Laszlo in 1942's Casablanca, actor Paul Henreid took a few turns behind the camera as evidenced by this 1964 thriller starring Bette Davis as twins Margaret DeLorca and Edith Phillips. After landing the beau they both sought…  See more details below


Though he's most famous for his portrayal of Victor Laszlo in 1942's Casablanca, actor Paul Henreid took a few turns behind the camera as evidenced by this 1964 thriller starring Bette Davis as twins Margaret DeLorca and Edith Phillips. After landing the beau they both sought after by falsely claiming she was pregnant, Margaret lives a life of luxury as the wife of a wealthy man. Now, 20 years later, a broke and lonely Edith has returned for revenge. After killing the recently widowed Margaret, Edith assumes her identity with plans of living the life she feels she's deserved all along. But in order to pull it off, she'll have to play the role of Margaret connivingly enough to fool her servants as well as a local playboy and the police. Dead Ringer was remade in 1986 as Killer in the Mirror, a made-for-television movie starring Ann Jillian.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although it would be wrong to call Dead Ringer a great film, it's undeniably great fun -- and actually a better film than its reputation would lead one to believe. Coming after Bette Davis's spectacularly over-the-top performance in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Ringer is generally considered part of the star's "Grand Guignol" cycle of films, but in fact it's less campy than others in this series and is a bit closer to some of her earlier "bad girl" pictures. That's not to say that the star doesn't have a grand old time chewing a bit of scenery here; Ringer presents her with plenty of opportunities to show how far she could go, and she takes delicious advantage of these moments. But it also allows here some very nice quieter moments, some opportunities for subtlety and nuance which she also clearly relishes. And this is where Ringer's screenplay scores some points, for while it's far from a great drama, it does provide some ambiguities in both the characters Davis plays which add for more depth than one would expect. The supporting cast is quite good, with even Peter Lawford turning in a more-than-decent performance and Karl Malden and Jen Hagen especially deserving of mention. Paul Henreid's direction is pretty standard, but he knows enough to keep David front and center. More importantly, he knows how to let ace cinematographer Ernest Haller photograph her and how to let Haller and editor Folmar Blangsted make the "twins" segments work. And there's also Davis' unforgettable and unbelievable rendition of "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," which must be experienced to be believed.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary by Charles Busch and "Bette Davis Speaks" author Boze Hadleigh; "Double Take: A Conversation With Boze Hadleigh"; Vintage featurette "Behind the Scenes at the Doheny Mansion"; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bette Davis Edith,Margaret
Karl Malden Sgt. Jim Hobbson
Peter Lawford Tony Collins
Philip Carey Sgt. Ben Hoag
Jean Hagen Dede
George Macready Paul Harrison
Estelle Winwood Matriarch
George Chandler George
Mario Alcalde Garcia
Cyril Delevanti Henry
Monika Henreid Janet
Bert Remsen Dan
Charles Watts Apartment Manager
Ken Lynch Captain Johnson
Charles Meredith Defense Lawyer

Technical Credits
Paul Henreid Director
Gordon Bau Makeup
Albert Beich Screenwriter
Folmar Blangsted Editor
Donfeld Costumes/Costume Designer
Perry Ferguson Art Director
Ernest Haller Cinematographer
Gene Hibbs Makeup
Robert B. Lee Sound/Sound Designer
Oscar Millard Screenwriter
André Previn Score Composer
William L. Stevens Set Decoration/Design
William H. Wright Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits [1:42]
2. Sisters Reunited [3:13]
3. The Bad Old Days [5:19]
4. To Hell With You [5:11]
5. Happy Birthday [3:58]
6. Nothing's Too Good [2:48]
7. I Know Everything [3:05]
8. Armed and Coiffed [4:40]
9. The Kill [2:48]
10. Nothing's the Matter [4:11]
11. The Switch [6:40]
12. The New Margaret [3:41]
13. Where There's Smoke [4:41]
14. Police Visit [3:43]
15. Dead Ringer [4:04]
16. Not Like Edie [3:23]
17. The Right Combination [5:23]
18. Visitors [3:56]
19. How Not to Sign a Name [5:22]
20. Signs of Affection [1:40]
21. Attending to Things [4:24]
22. Surprise: Tony [2:58]
23. Not Herself [4:28]
24. Practice Green Blackmail [4:02]
25. Tony's Apartment [4:15]
26. Uses of Arsenic [3:53]
27. Getting Rid of Tony [1:57]
28. "I'm Edie, Jim!" [5:04]
29. Not All Alone [1:52]
30. Never Hurt a Fly [3:11]

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Dead Ringer 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Dead Ringer¿(1964) (not to be confused with ¿Dead Ringers¿ 1988) is the story of rival twin sisters Margaret DeLorca and Edith Philips, both played by Bette Davis. Years earlier Margaret married a wealthy so and so who once courted Edith but has since passed away. Edith¿s sudden appearance at his funeral sparks Margaret to invite her sister back to her mansion for drinks after the service. However, Margaret¿s cavalier attitude toward life and her not so subtle snubs at Edith¿s decidedly down to earth life style (she owns a bar on the east side that is in danger of foreclosure) drives Edith to distraction. She concocts a diabolical revenge scenario on a bluff, gets her Margaret to come to her apartment, and then murders her. Making it look like a suicide, Edith steals Margaret¿s clothes and identity, returning to her sister¿s mansion as though nothing had happened. However, Edith¿s cop boyfriend, Sergeant Mike Hobbson (Karl Malden) begins to suspect that something is afoot from the start, though even he can not conceive that his one time girlfriend is impersonating her own sister. However, the transition from frump to Trump is a difficult one for Edith. Eventually eschewing into social graces, Edith¿s cover is blown when Margaret¿s old time, loud mouth friend, DeDe Marshall (Jean Hagen) invites her to a party at which Margaret¿s former lover, Tony Collins (Peter Lawford) is in attendance. The deceptions run high as Edith slowly comes to realize that Tony and her sister murdered Margaret¿s husband. When Tony discovers Edith¿s fraud he blackmails her into keeping his secret. Filmed at a time when Davis¿ career had begun the slow decline into B-movie oblivion, ¿Dead Ringer¿ emerges as something of a red herring. The film is directed by Davis¿ ¿Now Voyager¿ costar, Paul Henreid and the roster of talent amassed, including George Macready, Estelle Winwood and Philip Carey is impressive. Still, what emerges for the experience is more schlock B-romance with a Lizzy Borden spin than high octane suspense. Davis held out long and hard before securing the dual role. She had previously played twins in ¿A Stolen Life¿ so the rehashing must have seemed like a solid choice. Unhappy circumstance that the film itself emerges as little more than a footnote ¿ one of many for its star ¿ on her way toward becoming a relic from Hollywood¿s golden age. There is a lot to celebrate in Warner Brother¿s DVD transfer. The anamorphic image is remarkably clean, with a very solid and beautifully rendered gray scale, deep blacks and excellent contrast levels. Only during the split screen shots of the two sisters do we get a hint of film grain. The rest of the transfer is ultra smooth and sumptuous to look at. There are several fleeting hints of edge enhancement and some extremely minor pixelization, but neither distracts from your viewing pleasure. The audio is mono but with a considerable ¿ if tacky punctuated punch. Extras include a very brief featurette with Davis biographer, Boze Hadleigh, a thorough audio commentary with Hadleigh and Charles Busch, a vintage featurette shot during production on the film and a theatrical trailer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fun movie : okay it is not Dark Victory, but with a top cast, its too much fun too miss. Acting very good, plot has holes, but who cares?