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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 film made its initial USA telecast in Los Angeles Monday 10 December 1956 on KTTV (Channel 11); its San Francisco television premiere took place 18 March 1959 on KGO-TV (Channel 7) and its earliest telecast in New York City took place 8 August 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »
[left alone in the shadows, Joan hears her alter ego's voice]
Joan... Joan... I've been fighting with you all your life... Listen, you, I've waited a long time for this. You've gotta let me live!... I won't go back in the dark. I'll live! I'll live!
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A psychological melodrama about a woman suffering from split personality. There's a hint of the noir style here, resulting in some of the film's few good moments, but overall it's just too silly to enjoy on any level besides camp. Any movie of this era that attempts to tackle psychiatry invariably simplifies it far too much, both the condition and the cure. A lot of the plot is just too convenient and/or unexplained (how the hell did Bob find her?) and there's not very much dramatic tension. Phyllis Thaxter does a fairly good job in the lead, no one is very satisfying, including Audrey Totter as the alter ego's voice-over. Movies like this are nice reminders that not all classic cinema is gold.
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