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The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933)

 -  Mystery  -  4 May 1933 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 186 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

When a famous doctor kills his adulterous wife, he is defended by his best friend, an attorney--who suspects that his own wife is having an affair.

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(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Paul Held
...
Walter Bernsdorf
...
Lucy Bernsdorf
Jean Dixon ...
Hilda Frey
Donald Cook ...
Maria's Lover
...
Schultz (as Charles Grapewin)
...
Lucy's Lover
Wallis Clark ...
Public Prosecutor
May Boley ...
Busybody in Courtroom
Christian Rub ...
Man on the Wrong Floor
Reginald Mason ...
Judge
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Storyline

When a lawyer defending his best friend for murdering his unfaithful wife discovers how the accused discovered his wife was in love with another man, the lawyer begins to see the same patterns in his own wife's behavior, and suspects she too is being unfaithful. Promising his friend that a defense of momentary insanity will acquit him, he also promises to kill his own wife if the defense actually works. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 May 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Kuß vor dem Spiegel  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Wives Under Suspicion (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Heavy emoting by Frank Morgan is a surprise...
26 April 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

James Whale directed this courtroom melodrama about a lawyer (FRANK MORGAN) defending a man (PAUL LUKAS) on trial for murdering his unfaithful wife (GLORIA STUART). Stuart was having an affair with a very briefly seen WALTER PIDGEON. Morgan soon suspects his own wife (NANCY CARROLL) of infidelity.

Although it has only a brief running time of one hour and seven minutes, it seems longer than that. It drags in places and there's a funeral silence on the soundtrack which is devoid of a musical background almost all the way through. Bursts of melodrama are not accompanied by the usual orchestral flourishes and this deadens some of the material and dates the film and the dialog badly.

CHARLES GRAPEWIN, DONALD COOK and Christian RUB have very small roles. The film revolves entirely about the behavior of Morgan, Lukas and NANCY CARROLL. By the time the plot moves to the courtroom defense of Lukas, we get to see Frank Morgan do some serious emoting. He's up to the chore but, as usual in films from the early '30s, the style is overly melodramatic. Hollywood never could resist resorting to overkill for courtroom histrionics.

Interesting treatment of a theme so often played out in films over the years--but not unusual enough to be distinctive. The miracle is that it manages to tell a complex story in such a brief running time.

GLORIA STUART's beauty is striking. She stands out impressively in a minor role.


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