Double Life

Double Life

Director: George Cukor

Cast: George Cukor, Whit Bissell, Ronald Colman, Betsy Blair

     
 

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Ronald Colman won an Academy Award for his portrayal of an off-the-beam actor in A Double Life. A beloved stage star, Anthony John (Colman), has problems with his private life due to his unpredictable outbursts of temper. This trait has already cost him his wife, Brita (Signe Hasso), and threatens to sabotage his career. Nonetheless, Anthony makes his peaceSee more details below

Overview

Ronald Colman won an Academy Award for his portrayal of an off-the-beam actor in A Double Life. A beloved stage star, Anthony John (Colman), has problems with his private life due to his unpredictable outbursts of temper. This trait has already cost him his wife, Brita (Signe Hasso), and threatens to sabotage his career. Nonetheless, Anthony makes his peace with Brita, and the two actors star in a new Broadway staging of Othello. The play is a hit, running over 300 performances, but the pressures of portraying a man moved to murder by jealousy takes its toll on Anthony. In a fit of delirium, he strangles his casual mistress, Pat (Shelley Winters), but retains no memory of the awful crime. Press agent Bill Friend (Edmond O'Brien), unaware that Anthony is the killer, uses Pat's murder as publicity for Othello. Anthony becomes enraged at this cheap ploy, and attacks Friend. At this point, Anthony realizes that he has been living "a double life" and is in fact Pat's murderer. A Double Life was written for the screen by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, who occasionally digress from the melodramatic plotline to include a few backstage inside jokes.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Originally written for Laurence Olivier, A Double Life ultimately served as the vehicle which brought Ronald Colman his only Oscar. It's certainly a worthy performance, although some might carp that Colman goes for "showy" effects when subtler choices might prove more effective. Nonetheless, he does take hold of the screen and never let it go, delivering an energetic and enthralling performance that is essential to making the film work. The encroaching madness, the frenzy, the fight for sanity are all portrayed in an electrifying manner; Colman makes this man both monstrous and appealing. Of course, he's working from a well-structured script by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon that is filled with the kind of scenes and dialogue that an actor kills for. And director George Cukor provides invaluable support, showcasing his star in the most favorable manner. Cukor also makes extensive use of mirrors throughout, an appropriate metaphor, and his visual flair really comes into play as Colman sinks further into madness. His evocative use of sound and music throughout also helps to intensify the race away from sanity. In addition, the director pulls an affecting and vulnerable performance from Shelley Winters, who plays very well off of Colman. If A Double Life's melodramatic heights are a little artificial for modern audiences, it still packs a sizable wallop.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/2012
UPC:
0887090043007
Original Release:
1947
Rating:
NR
Source:
Olive Films
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:44:00
Sales rank:
19,271

Special Features

Martin Scorsese; Introduction of a Double Life

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Whit Bissell Dr. Stauffer
Ronald Colman Anthony John
Betsy Blair Girl in Wig Shop
Signe Hasso Brita
David Bond ["othello" Sequence]
Edmond O'Brien Bill Friend
Harlan Briggs Oscar Bemard
Shelley Winters Pat Kroll
Georgia Caine [A Gentleman's Gentleman Sequence]
Ray Collins Victor Donlan
Claire Carleton Waitress
Philip Loeb Max Lasker
John Drew Colt Stage Manager
Leslie Denison ["othello" Sequence]
Elizabeth Dunne Gladys
Alan Edmiston Rex
Arthur E. Gould-Porter David Bond ["othello" Sequence]
Wilton Graff Dr. Mervin
Boyd Irwin Virginia Patton ["othello" Sequence]
Fay Kanin Guy Bates Post ["othello" Sequence]
Charles La Torre Stellini
Millard Mitchell Al Cooley
Virginia Patton ["othello" Sequence]
Guy Bates Post ["othello" Sequence]
Elliott Reid [A Gentleman's Gentleman Sequence]
Thayer Roberts ["othello" Sequence]
Joe Sawyer Pete Bonner
Art Smith Wigmaker
Peter Thompson Assistant Stage Manager
Sid Tomack Wigmaker
Percival Vivian Thayer Roberts/Georgia Caine ["othello" Sequence]
Janet Warren Girl in Wigshop
Marjorie Woodworth Girls in Wig Shop
Frederic Worlock Leslie Denison ["othello" sequence]
Mary Young Elliott Teid [A Gentleman's Gentleman Sequence]
William Norton Bailey Actor
Joe Bernard Husband
Laura Brooks Dowager
Leander de Cordova Actor
George Douglas Actor
Watson Downs Bootmaker
Beatrice Gray Actor
Fred Hoose Laughing Man
Robert Emmett Keane 2nd Photographer
Elmo Lincoln Detective
Carl Milletaire Customer
Howard Mitchell Tailor
John Morgan Actor
Albert Pollet Costume Designer
Buddy Roosevelt Fingerprint Man
Jamesson Shade Actor
Diane Stewart Actor
Mike Stokey Actor
Mary Worth Woman in Audience
Nina Gilbert Woman
Bruce Riley Actor
Wayne Treadway Men at Party
Pete Sosso Tailor
Kay Lavelle Large Woman
Alexander Clark Barry
Reginald Billado Reporter
Cedric Stevens Actor
Don McGill Man at Party
Elektra Rozanska Actor
Katherine Marlowe Actor
Doretta Johnson Actor
Curt Conway Reporter
Sarah Selby Anna
Harry Bannister 2nd Actor
Joann Dolan Ellen
Joyce Mathews Janet
Nick Dennis Stagehand
Barry Macollum Stagehand
Angela Clarke Lucy
Paddy Chayefsky Photographer [uncredited]
Russ Conway Reporter
Fernanda Eliscu Landlady
Joey Ray Boyer
Charles Jordan Bartender
Walter McGrail Steve
Hazel Keener Woman
Ethel May Halls Woman
Maude Fealy Woman
Harry Hays Morgan Guest
George Sherwood Guest
John Derek Police Stenographer
Frank Richards Stagehand

Technical Credits
George Cukor Director
John P. Austin Set Decoration/Design
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
Harvey T. Gillett Art Director
Ruth Gordon Screenwriter
Bernard Herzbrun Art Director
Harry Horner Production Designer
David S. Horsley Special Effects
Garson Kanin Screenwriter
Michael Kanin Producer
Milton Krasner Cinematographer
Robert Parrish Editor
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
Bud Westmore Makeup
Yvonne Wood Costumes/Costume Designer

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