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Black Widow
     

Black Widow

4.0 1
Director: Nunnally Johnson

Cast: Ginger Rogers, Van Heflin, Gene Tierney

 
Broadway producer Peter Denver (Van Heflin) takes in young actress Nanny Ordway (Peggy Ann Garner) while his wife (Gene Tierney) is out of town. When Nancy is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, the two prime suspects are Peter and the neglected husband (Reginald Gardiner) of temperamental Broadway star Ginger Rogers, who had also been dallying with the dead

Overview

Broadway producer Peter Denver (Van Heflin) takes in young actress Nanny Ordway (Peggy Ann Garner) while his wife (Gene Tierney) is out of town. When Nancy is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, the two prime suspects are Peter and the neglected husband (Reginald Gardiner) of temperamental Broadway star Ginger Rogers, who had also been dallying with the dead girl. Detective Bruce (George Raft) figures out the true identity of the killer, but the audience may be well ahead of him. Despite its resplendant color photography, Black Widow is a "film noir" at heart.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Black Widow is an entertaining near miss of a murder mystery. It fiddles with a lot of film noir characteristics, but doesn't fully commit to them, and while its cinematography is frequently stunning (with plenty of gorgeous panoramas of the New York skyline), its lush Technicolor feels out of place in the circumstances -- it's pretty when what is called for is a bit of grittiness. Widow also doesn't play fair; pieces of information are withheld from the audience for too long, and the mystery plot itself comes across a trifle forced at times. That said, Nunnally Johnson has provided some marvelous dialogue, the film moves along at a nice, steady clip, and it's enough fun that most viewers will overlook these flaws. Most of the cast is very solid, with the exception of George Raft, who is sadly miscast. Gene Tierney is underutilized, but looks sensational, and Van Heflin plays the patsy role to perfection. Peggy Ann Garner is surprisingly good -- and frequently just plain surprising. But the standout performance belongs to Ginger Rogers. Not necessarily a natural for the part (her screen persona tends to be a bit more working class than the role calls for), she overcomes that seeming handicap by sheer force of will. Rogers' steely determination and selfish strength make the character vivid and memorable, and her bitchiness is a delight. It's a scene-stealing role, and Rogers turns out to be the perfect thief for it. Widow's elements don't congeal into a classic noir, but it's a very worthy minor effort.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/11/2008
UPC:
0024543446613
Original Release:
1954
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:35:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary with film noir historian Alan Rode; Ginger Rogers st Twentieth Century Fox featurette; Gene Tierney: Final Curtain for a Noir Icon featurette; Interactive pressbook; Isolated score track; Still galleries; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ginger Rogers Lottie
Van Heflin Peter
Gene Tierney Iris
George Raft Detective Bruce
Peggy Ann Garner Nanny Ordway
Reginald Gardiner Brian
Virginia Leith Claire Amberly
Otto Kruger Ling
Cathleen Nesbitt Lucia
Skip Homeier John
Hilda Simms Anne
Harry Carter Welch
Geraldine Wall Miss Mills
Richard H. Cutting Sgt. Owens
Mabel Albertson Sylvia
Aaron Spelling Mr. Oliver
Wilson Wood Costume Designer
Frances Driver Maid
James F. Stone Stage Doorman
Michael Vallon Coal Dealer
Tony DeMario Bartender

Technical Credits
Nunnally Johnson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Charles G. Clarke Cinematographer
A.F. Erickson Asst. Director
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Patrick Quentin Original Story
Maurice Ransford Production Designer
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Dorothy Spencer Editor
William Travilla Costumes/Costume Designer
Lyle Wheeler Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Black Widow
1. Main Titles / Party Invitation [4:51]
2. A New Friend [4:30]
3. Nancy's Story [3:14]
4. Roomates [2:06]
5. Networking [1:46]
6. Writer's Analysis [3:48]
7. Nancy's Death [4:36]
8. Crime Scene [1:42]
9. Investigation [4:39]
10. Lies [6:38]
11. Unwelcome Counsel [:09]
12. Shocking Letter [5:06]
13. Questioning the Neighbors [2:24]
14. Murder Suspect [3:21]
15. Playing Hardball [2:31]
16. Checking Out Nancy [5:17]
17. Pursuing the Truth [3:11]
18. A Theory [3:23]
19. Exposed [3:22]
20. The Real Nancy [:24]
21. Confession [4:34]
22. Alternate Theory [3:17]
23. The Truth [3:08]
24. Acting Innocent [2:27]

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Black Widow 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago