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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>
Finnish censorship visa register # 028942. See more »
From all appearances during the opening sequence, Anthony John's new comedy is just opening on Broadway - deliverymen carry a fresh sign into the lobby covered with blurbs from rave reviews, leading lady is asked to look at new publicity photos and theater is packed during scene from play. But suddenly, it's revealed that this play has been running a year and is actually about to close. In reality, virtually all plays close due to dwindling attendance (and don't have SRO audiences in last days, as does this one) nor do producers waste money on advertising and publicity on productions that have already posted closing notices, as appears to be the case here since actors are already discussing their next jobs. 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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