A piano teacher believes that her fiancé was killed on the battlefield. When he miraculously returns, they decide to marry, but are threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer the piano teacher started dating on the rebound after she became convinced her love had died.
Susan Trexel is a wealthy socialite, who while vacationing in Europe undergoes a religious transformation. On her return to America, Susan takes on the task of spreading her new found ... See full summary »
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 »
Deluxe melodrama with enough plot for three pictures...
Joan Crawford, in a rare case of very sly, very competent underplaying, is cast as a facially scarred woman who falls in league (and perhaps in lust) with a blackmailing schemer with murder on his mind. The blackmail part of the deal is foiled when accomplice Crawford is befriended by Melvyn Douglas, the victim's husband (and plastic surgeon!); after restoring her beauty, Douglas must then stop Joan from carrying out the murder plot, targeting a child no less! Remake of an early Ingrid Bergman movie (1938's "En Kvinnas ansikte"), which in turn was based upon a French play, the film is over-plotted and over-flowing with hectic minutiae and chatty supporting characters. Also complicating matters is a story-frame set in the Royal Swedish Court: seems Joan is indeed on trial for murder, but whom did she kill? Despite a slow beginning, this turns out to be a rather shrewdly devised, sharply written melodrama, with some delicious turns of the screw. Crawford and Douglas work smoothly together (they were reteamed for a comedy the following year, "They All Kissed the Bride"), and the cinematography and art direction are marvelous. George Cukor directed, without a sense of humor, and the script might've stood some paring down. Otherwise, shamefully entertaining. **1/2 from ****
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