A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.
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A woman suspected of murdering her doctor boyfriend has an identical twin sister. When both twins have an alibi for the night of the murder, a psychiatrist is called in to assist a detective in solving the case. Through a series of tests, he discovers which twin actually committed the crime and in the course of his investigation he falls in love with the normal twin. Written by
Neil Doyle <Doylenf@msn.com>
Riveting mystery stars Olivia de Havilland and Olivia de Havilland in their only film together...
Once again, Olivia de Havilland proves that she is one of the most talented and versatile actresses on the silver screen. She does so here by accepting the challenge of playing a dual role. Thanks to the astonishing visual effects and the occasional use of stand-ins, we see two of her in this movie...playing twin sisters!
Tightly directed by Robert Siodmak (who directed THE KILLERS that same year, which was the film that made stars out of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner), this intriguing film flies by at a brisk 85 minutes and is full of twists and turns. Although the film contains an excellent cast (among the supporting members include Thomas Mitchell and Lew Ayres), the mystery in the story is a simple one. Even non-mystery fans will be entertained by the film, since the plot is rather uncomplicated. The film was later adapted for radio as a half-hour episode of "The Screen Director's Playhouse," also starring Olivia. I have a recording of this episode on audio tape and Olivia's performance is fascinating: she lowers and raises the pitch of her voice whenever she plays a separate twin in order for the audience to tell the difference between the two. This episode is a must for Olivia's fans.
Despite the low budget of the film, THE DARK MIRROR contains stark cinematography by Milton Krasner and a very effective music score by Dmitri Tiomkin, as well as unusually high production values. Even when seen in the eyes of someone who is currently living in the generation of digital special effects, the visual effects of the twin sisters are flawless and instantly convincing thanks to Olivia's excellent acting skills and the creativity of the special effects department. How'd they do that?
The film is worth watching, even if it's only for watching the marvelous visual effects. On a personal level, I wonder what it would be like if Olivia and her estranged yet equally-famous sister, Joan Fontaine, ever starred in a film together...
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