Anna Holm is a blackmailer, who because of a facial scar, despises everyone she encounters. When a plastic surgeon performs an operation to correct this disfigurement, Anna becomes torn between the hope of starting a new life, and a return to her dark past. Written by
Director Cukor wanted Anna's recital of her life story to be done in a tired, mechanical fashion, so he had Crawford repeat the multiplication tables over and over until he got the monotonous tone he was looking for. Then, he rolled the cameras. See more »
When Anna first discusses the potential murder of the child, she alternately has her arms crossed in front of her chest, and outstretched holding a cigarette. See more »
A story more intriguing than 'Mildred Pierce'...an odd and fascinating film...
Joan Crawford has one of her more complex roles and plays it brilliantly in 'A Woman's Face'. It ranks with her work in 'Mildred Pierce' and 'Possessed'. Matching her is Conrad Veidt, always the suave villain (who also specialized in playing Nazi types). Crawford excels as a scarred woman who undergoes plastic surgery to change her life. The situations become more melodramatic as the plot gets thicker and there are a few too many flashbacks--but overall, the effect is a stunning film that makes you think about how one's appearance shapes one's life--for better or worse.
Certain sequences have a stark, no holds barred manner of storytelling, grim and suspenseful--as when Anna Holm considers pushing a child to his death from a cable car. The wintry landscapes and glittering interiors are all handsomely photographed. Melvyn Douglas doesn't register too strongly at all. It's strictly Crawford's picture with some superb help from Conrad Veidt.
The pace is rather leisurely under George Cukor's direction but quickens midway to a smashing climax. By all means, see it. A strong melodrama with some unexpected twists.
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