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A Double Life (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1948 (Turkey)
Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, ... See full summary »

Director:

George Cukor
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Colman ... Anthony John
Signe Hasso ... Brita Kaurin
Edmond O'Brien ... Bill Friend
Shelley Winters ... Pat Kroll
Ray Collins ... Victor Donlan
Philip Loeb Philip Loeb ... Max Lasker
Millard Mitchell ... Al Cooley
Joe Sawyer ... Ray Bonner
Charles La Torre Charles La Torre ... Stellini
Whit Bissell ... Dr. Stauffer
John Drew Colt John Drew Colt ... Stage Manager
Peter M. Thompson Peter M. Thompson ... Asst. Stage Manager (as Peter Thompson)
Elizabeth Dunne Elizabeth Dunne ... Gladys
Alan Edmiston Alan Edmiston ... Rex
Art Smith ... Wigmaker
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Storyline

Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, it's terrible to be around him. That's the reason why his wife Brita divorced him; although she still loves him and works with him, she couldn't stand living with him anymore. So when Anthony accepts to play Othello, he devotes himself entirely to the part, but it soon overwhelms him and with each day his mind gets filled more and more with Othello's murderous jealousy. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Swedish

Release Date:

1948 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

The Art of Murder See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kanin Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the initial release of Kanin Productions, a company headed by producer Michael Kanin and his brother, writer-director Garson Kanin. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the last "Othello", Tony appears to be distracted by someone just off-stage. We know that Bill, the policeman, and the restaurant owner are standing where he is looking, but the only one he knows is Bill. He had seen the restaurant owner only once, and surely couldn't have recognized him in the dark; and he had never met the policeman. His final act implies that he knows he has been found out, but what gave him that idea? See more »

Quotes

Ray Bonner: Everybody wants to be a detective - I think it's all these radio serials.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits appear against a theatre image with stage curtain. See more »

Connections

Remade as The Alcoa Hour: A Double Life (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Opus 10 No. 3 in E Major
(1829-32) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played a bit on piano by Brita
See more »

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User Reviews

Colman's finest hour...gripping performances...
22 January 2002 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

There is an atmospheric film noir quality to A DOUBLE LIFE and one that is so fitting for the kind of story it tells. Ronald Colman is an actor who becomes obsessed with his role when playing Othello and goes off the deep end. He does his role so convincingly that it is almost frightening to see him in the grip of his delusions--a Jekyll and Hyde sort of transformation takes over when his dark side emerges. A brilliant performance and he's surrounded by excellent supporting players, notably Shelley Winters in one of her earliest roles as a dumb waitress. Signe Hasso and Edmond O'Brien are fine too. Her fear of Colman's manic state looks genuine as he looms over her figure on the bed, preparing to strangle her.

Not the sort of film you'd expect George Cukor to direct but he does it well with only occasional slow stretches in a story that could have been more tightly controlled with too much repetition in the stage scenes. Brooding and absorbing with a fine background score by Miklos Rozsa. Colman's Oscar-winning performance makes it well worth seeing.


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