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Two Mrs. Carrolls
     

The Two Mrs. Carrolls

Director: Peter Godfrey

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Alexis Smith

 
Humphrey Bogart plays a psychotic killer who disposes of his wives through slow ingestion of poison in The Two Mrs. Carrolls, made in 1945 but shelved for two years because of its similarity to Gaslight. Bogart is Geoffrey Carroll, an artist who paints a portrait of his wife as "The Angel of Death" and then meets Sally Morton (Barbara Stanwyck), with

Overview

Humphrey Bogart plays a psychotic killer who disposes of his wives through slow ingestion of poison in The Two Mrs. Carrolls, made in 1945 but shelved for two years because of its similarity to Gaslight. Bogart is Geoffrey Carroll, an artist who paints a portrait of his wife as "The Angel of Death" and then meets Sally Morton (Barbara Stanwyck), with whom he quickly falls in love. In order to get rid of his wife and take up with Sally, Geoffrey slowly poisons his spouse by lacing her nightly glass of warm milk with liberal doses of toxic chemicals. He sends his daughter Beatrice (Ann Carter) away to school and, while the daughter is away, his wife dies. He immediately marries Sally and they appear to be happily together. But a few years pass and Geoffrey begins to work on another "Angel of Death" portrait of Sally, this time after he falls in love with his attractive neighbor Cecily (Alexis Smith). As before, Sally begins to grow weak from the daily nightcap of tainted milk. But complications set in when Cecily demands that she and Geoffrey run away together and the local druggist, Mr. Biagdon (Barry Bernard), presents Geoffrey with a blackmail demand. But Geoffrey overplays his hand when he once again tries to send Beatrice away to school. Sally now begins to suspect her husband is a serial killer. Borrowing a gun from a friend, Sally must defend herself against her deranged and murderous husband.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
While The Two Mrs. Carrolls was a smash hit on the stage, on film it's entertaining, but only reasonably effective. What damages the movie is a hole in the center -- namely, the leading male character. For most of the film, Geoffrey's motivations are fuzzy and unclear; we know he is a murderer, but we don't really know why, and we don't know what his real feelings are for Sally. Did he murder his wife because he's insane, because he needs money, because he loves Sally, or because his work is so important that he must sacrifice anything in order to find the inspiration that enables him to create masterpieces? The audience is eventually told the answer, but it doesn't come across as believable; and though Humphrey Bogart is good in the role, he can't overcome this fatal flaw in the writing. Had the character's motivations been treated in a more imaginative way, in which the director and writer kept the audience guessing at every step, this could have become an asset. Unfortunately, the manner in which it is handled makes it a significant detriment. Still, there's more than a modicum of suspense and interest generated along the way, and Barbara Stanwyck -- operating in "good girl" mode -- and a delightfully selfish Alexis Smith turn in very fine performances. A bit of a disappointment given the talent involved, The Two Mrs. Carrolls is, nonetheless, moderately enjoyable.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/15/2011
UPC:
0883316288191
Original Release:
1947
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:39:00
Sales rank:
2,424

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Humphrey Bogart Geoffrey Carroll
Barbara Stanwyck Sally Morton Carroll
Alexis Smith Cecily Latham
Nigel Bruce Dr. Tuttle
Isobel Elsom Mrs. Latham
Pat O'Moore Charles Fennington
Ann Carter Beatrice Carroll
Anita Bolster Christine
Barry Bernard Mr. Blagdon
Colin Campbell MacGregor
Peter Godfrey First Tout
Creighton Hale Second Tout
Leyland Hodgson Inspector

Technical Credits
Peter Godfrey Director
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Burks Special Effects
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Budd S. Friend Set Decoration/Design
Anton Grot Art Director
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Mark Hellinger Producer
Thomas Job Screenwriter
J. Peverell Marley Cinematographer
Frederick Richards Editor
Franz Waxman Score Composer
Perc Westmore Makeup

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