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A Woman's Face (1941)

Passed  -  Thriller | Drama  -  23 May 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,269 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 17 critic

A female blackmailer with a disfiguring facial scar meets a plastic surgeon who offers her the possibility of looking like a normal woman.


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Title: A Woman's Face (1941)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Gustaf Segert
Torsten Barring
Vera Segert
Bernard Dalvik
Albert Bassermann ...
Consul Magnus Barring
Marjorie Main ...
Emma Kristiansdotter
Herman Rundvik
Connie Gilchrist ...
Christina Dalvik
Richard Nichols ...
Lars-Erik Barring
Charles Quigley ...
Gwili Andre ...
Clifford Brooke ...
George Zucco ...
Defense Attorney
Henry Kolker ...


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 Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


FASCINATING! COMPELLING! (original poster - all caps) See more »


Thriller | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 May 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Woman's Face  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


[first lines]
Police Matron: That's a fine trick. You know the prisoner's afraid of fire.
See more »


Referenced in The Miracle of Sound (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

Garbo's loss - Crawford's gain
11 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Thanks to "A Woman's Face," Joan Crawford's slumped career had a badly needed revival, and Greta Garbo's career ended. Garbo had a choice of "A Woman's Face" or "Two-Faced Woman," but she refused to play a character with a deformity. So she made the disastrous "Two-Faced Woman" instead and retired, her face free of scars and her life free of films.

Ingrid Bergman made the original movie in Sweden, and in the hands of MGM, it translated quite well with a superb performance from Joan Crawford, perhaps the best of her career, as a scarred, bitter woman who makes her living from blackmail. Her story is told in a series of flashbacks, as each character testifies at the woman's trial.

The performances, from MGM's able stable, are very good - Melvyn Douglas as a doctor, Conrad Veidt as an evil man who wants to use Crawford for his own ends (he described himself in this film as "Lucifer in a tuxedo"), Osa Massen, Albert Basserman, Donald Meek, Henry Daniell, George Zucco, and Marjorie Main. Richard Nichols, as the little boy Lars-Erik, sports the same southern accent in Sweden as he did in France in "All This and Heaven, Too." Crawford is excellent, and one wonders if the role of Anna didn't strike a chord with her given her difficult childhood. Under Cukor's direction, she handles the role beautifully.

A very good movie, and an exciting sleigh ride at the end that you won't want to miss.

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Recent Posts
Breaks my heart silver_wing9000-1
Anna's transformation not quite plausible SusanJL
Makes you wonder why Cukor did not direct more thrillers danielj_old999
A Woman's Face mdelros
question in scene after one of surgeries berkenbe
Great Scenes! fridaythfan
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