Mike is a great tuna fisherman though he lost a hand to a shark years earlier saving Pipes Boley. Now Mike is happily married to Quita and doesn't notice that Pipes and Quita are falling ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Rico is a small-time hood who knocks off gas stations for whatever he can take. He heads east and signs up with Sam Vettori's mob. A New Year's Eve robbery at Little Arnie Lorch's casino ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
Art student John Hayden interrupts his studies in Greece to head his father's meat packing business on his father's death. He marries social climber Martha who taunts him for his ideals ... See full summary »
Alfred E. Green
Edward G. Robinson,
Actress Jessica Wells, sister of actor Damon Wells, is on top of her form except when her husband Vance is around. When Vance takes her to the apartment of a theatrical producer she comes home incoherent and Vance is found dead in the vanished producer's hotel suite. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Producer Ben Weston:
[Contemptuously to Vance]
You know, Vance, there must be some way of getting rid of rat like you. I suppose the best way is just to crunch you underfoot on the sidewalk.
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The tagline of this MGM picture promised it as the "most unusual picture since DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE" but that's a tad bit of a stretch as the film has a lot more in common with Warner's SVENGALI. Actor Damon Welles (Edward G. Robinson) is shocked to see that his sister (Mary Astor) goes into some sort of trance, which has been brought on by the arrival of her husband (Louis Calhern) who everyone thought had been killed years earlier. It turns out the husband puts the sister under a trance because he's trying to steal her money so the actor/brother decides to play a different type of part and free his sister through murder. THE MAN WITH TWO FACES certainly isn't in the same league as the Fredric March Jekyll/Hyde flick but it's still a pretty surreal little gem that really works well thanks in large part to the terrific cast. At just 72-minutes there's nothing overly ground breaking but if you're looking for a good little "B" film then this one here will get the job done. I was surprised to see how effective the story was even if we've seen it before in earlier films. I thought the pre-code elements were rather effective and the abuse that the husband puts his wife through was certainly stronger than what you'd typical see. I thought the screenplay did a good job at slowly building up the viewer's hatred of the husband because he comes onto the scene through some sinister fog and the level of evilness this guy is just gets worse from there. There's no murder that we see but the husband still comes across as a great, mean villain. Robinson shows what a terrific actor he is as he gets to play a couple parts here. One the actor/brother and the other a French man. I thought Robinson did a very good job with both parts and I really enjoyed the restraint way he played the brother. Astor's also very effective in her scenes and just check out the sequence where she first sees the husband she thought was dead. The horror in her eyes tells us everything we need to know and it's this quick scene that really sets up everything that's to follow. I also thought Astor did a good job in her scenes in a trance. Mae Clarke of FRANKENSTEIN fame has a thankless role as Robinson's girlfriend but it's always nice to see her. Ricardo Cortez is fun as well playing Astor's boyfriend who gets pushed to the side. Calhern easily steals the show as the abusive Svengali type character as he's so good as being cold-blooded that you can't help but love to hate him. I won't ruin the ending but I thought it was quite clever and effective. I'm a little surprised that this film isn't better known among fantasy fans as I personally found it to be more entertaining than the 1931 John Barrymore film. Of course there are still some problems including Robinson playing the French guy and how no one is able to tell it's the actor. Outside that, this is a rather effective movie that's certainly worth viewing.
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