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 »
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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>
"A Double Life" is about an actor playing Othello. In December of 1947, the year that "A Double Life' was released, Arturo Toscanini, at that time considered the greatest conductor in the world, led a two-part radio broadcast performance of Giuseppe Verdi's "Otello", an operatic version of the play, with Ramón Vinay singing the title role. 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 »
Ronald Colman gives an electrifying performance as Tony John, a Broadway actor who can't separate his offstage life from Shakespeare's Othello, the character he plays on stage....Two important scenes illustrate Tony's dilemma. The first one takes place in producer Max Lasker's office. Acting is a matter of talent for the practical-minded Lasker. But Donlan, Tony's friend, disagrees: "No, no. When you do it like Tony does it, it's much more. The way he has of becoming someone else every night...so completely. No, don't tell me his whole system isn't affected by it."....The other scene occurs in waitress Pat Kroll's apartment. Tony tells her his name is Martin. She thanks him. Then he says: "Or Paul. Hamlet. Joe. And maybe Othello."....When Tony begins rehearsing Othello, we learn that though he's trying to keep his real life separated from his stage life, "The part begins to seep into your life, and the battle begins. Reality against imagination." He can't keep the two separated: In his mind Pat is Desdemona and he's Othello, and he wrongly believes she has been unfaithful to him. He murders her....Colman's bravura performance, in a complex and difficult role, earned him 1947's Academy Award for Best Actor. Oscar nominations went to Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin for Best Original Screenplay. Not to be overlooked is Milton Krasner's atomspheric cinematography.
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