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Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)

Sent to a dude ranch in the west to recover her health, a New York actress falls in love with a ranch owner recently acquitted of the murder of his wife.

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(as Lenore Coffee), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Richard Trevelyan
...
Shelley Carnes
...
Liza McStringer
...
Harvey Fortescue Turner
...
String
Frank Conroy ...
J.D. Nolan
Kathryn Givney ...
Myra Nolan
...
Father Paul
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Storyline

An actress Shelley Carnes (Ruth Roman), is looking forward to an exciting vacation at a dude ranch, but she gets more than she bargained for,including a perhaps murderous new husband. Only by shear luck has Richard Trevelyan (Richard Todd), her new husband, escaped execution for murdering his first wife Loraine. In a second trial, a single juror held out causing him to be released. A local priest, Father Paul (Rhys Williams), and other eyewitnesses paint a deadly picture to the future bride but the actual murder was not witnessed and somehow, unbelievably, love wins out. Because of local expectation, Shelley ends up at a competing dude ranch run by J.D. (Frank Conroy) and Myra Nolan (Kathryn Givney). The picture of Richard over their fireplace suggests a close relationship. They loan Shelley their car and direct her to go to Trevelyan's ranch. In route she meets Trevelyan on horseback, a handsome, but damaged, and mysterious young man. Upon arrival at the ranch she finds out the dude ... Written by Edward Kimble

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Release Date:

25 June 1951 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A villám kétszer csap le  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the early morning hours following a late-night torrential downpour, the desert roads are already dry and dusty. See more »

Quotes

Harvey Fortescue Turner: It's awfully good for your complexion... all over.
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User Reviews

 
not very believable
11 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If something is really good, I will forgive plot holes or situations that stretch the imagination. I won't do it here.

"Lightning Strikes Twice" stars Ruth Roman, Richard Todd, Mercedes McCambridge, and Zachary Scott. Roman plays an actress, Shelley Carnes, who has been sent out west for her health and is going to a dude ranch. The talk on the train is about Richard Trevelyan who was convicted of murdering his wife and received a death sentence. He was given a stay of execution pending a new trial and freed because the jury had one holdout who thought he was not guilty.

When her car gets stuck in the mud, Shelley is helped by a man in a house nearby, who turns out to be Trevelyan. She leaves the next day. The dude ranch, it turns out, is closed. She is invited by the caretakers Liza and String (McCambridge and Darryl Hickman) to stay for a few days anyway. She has already met their neighbors, who were friends of Trevelyan. Everyone seems to be looking for him. She learns that Liza was the one holdout on the jury. Because he wasn't convicted, the people in town are nasty to her (reminds me of the Casey Anthony trial where the local restaurants wouldn't serve jurors). Liza believes in his innocence.

Shelley meets Richard again, and the two of them fall in love. Shelley wants to prove him not guilty. But was he? This noirish film was a nice diversion thanks to the acting, but it had a few problems. The first is, what the heck was Liza doing on the jury if she knew this guy? Doesn't that suggest a certain prejudice? Second, things happen too fast. Roman and Todd are madly in love after one kiss and a couple of days. Third, why was Zachary Scott in this film? Talk about being superfluous, and he was hardly in it anyway.

Richard Todd is miscast as Trevelyan. He and Roman make a beautiful couple, and Todd was a good actor, but he is out of place in the west, given his accent and bearing. As someone on the board suggested, Scott may have been a better choice for the role, or Jim Davis.

The rest of the acting is very good, with a strong performance by Mercedes McCambridge and a solid one by Roman. In the end, though, this film is pretty routine, though atmospheric.


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