Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, ... See full summary »
Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, it's terrible to be around him. That's the reason why his wife Brita divorced him; although she still loves him and works with him, she couldn't stand living with him anymore. So when Anthony accepts to play Othello, he devotes himself entirely to the part, but it soon overwhelms him and with each day his mind gets filled more and more with Othello's murderous jealousy. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
The "Othello" scenes were filmed separately and in the exact order in which they occur in Shakespeare's play, so as to give Ronald Colman the feeling that he was actually appearing in "Othello". Colman felt uneasy about performing Shakespeare, so director George Cukor and Shakespearean actor Walter Hampden, who acted as coach and advisor for these scenes, tried to make Colman as comfortable as possible in them. See more »
At the end of the last "Othello", Tony appears to be distracted by someone just off-stage. We know that Bill, the policeman, and the restaurant owner are standing where he is looking, but the only one he knows is Bill. He had seen the restaurant owner only once, and surely couldn't have recognized him in the dark; and he had never met the policeman. His final act implies that he knows he has been found out, but what gave him that idea? See more »
There is an atmospheric film noir quality to A DOUBLE LIFE and one that is so fitting for the kind of story it tells. Ronald Colman is an actor who becomes obsessed with his role when playing Othello and goes off the deep end. He does his role so convincingly that it is almost frightening to see him in the grip of his delusions--a Jekyll and Hyde sort of transformation takes over when his dark side emerges. A brilliant performance and he's surrounded by excellent supporting players, notably Shelley Winters in one of her earliest roles as a dumb waitress. Signe Hasso and Edmond O'Brien are fine too. Her fear of Colman's manic state looks genuine as he looms over her figure on the bed, preparing to strangle her.
Not the sort of film you'd expect George Cukor to direct but he does it well with only occasional slow stretches in a story that could have been more tightly controlled with too much repetition in the stage scenes. Brooding and absorbing with a fine background score by Miklos Rozsa. Colman's Oscar-winning performance makes it well worth seeing.
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