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At her engagement party, Joan Ellis, your typical girl next door, acknowledges that the strange voice that she's heard all her life is coming from within herself. Joan's alter ego, a conniving and murderous woman named Karen, is becoming stronger and stronger and is threatening to take over her life. Joan negotiates with Karen. Although they do come to an agreement, Karen reneges on that agreement when the situation suits her. Karen ultimately wants the men in Joan's life, first her fiancé, Bob Arnold, then Eric Russell, a lawyer Joan meets in New York City. Joan does whatever she needs to to get rid of Karen, even if it a threat to her own life. Without knowing for certain what is wrong with Joan, those close to her, including Eric and Dr. Bergson, do whatever they can to save her. Written by
This is a bold film for its time because it tackles mental illness head on - in this case multiple personality syndrome. Thaxter is quite good as the sweet young girl occasionally taken over by the evil Karin (voiced brilliantly by Audrey Totter). Unfortunately the director takes it all far too seriously, and his constant cut-aways to grim or shocked reaction shots becomes comical. You really feel for the actors. Thank God for the wonderful Edmund Gwenn, who is the only actor who makes the material almost believable. And what a great psychiatrist he is - he can cure multiple personality syndrome in a matter of seconds, just by talking sternly to the evil side! Some nice visual moments and the uniqueness of the material make this film worth a look.
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