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William A. Seiter
Harry and Eve Graham are trying to adopt a baby. The head of the agency senses Harry is keeping a secret and does some investigating. He soon discovers Harry has done an unusual amount of traveling from his home in San Francisco to Los Angeles. Harry gets tracked down in LA where he has a second wife and a baby. Via flashbacks, Harry tells the adoption agent how he ended up in two marriages. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An interesting drama with some thoughtful moments, "The Bigamist" succeeds in offering a sympathetic look at everyone involved in an emotionally trying situation, and in maintaining drama and tension for the entire running time. Ida Lupino does a good job both in acting and in directing, playing one of the key characters while telling the story in a careful fashion that does not oversimplify the issues involved.
As the three main characters, Lupino, Edmond O'Brien, and Joan Fontaine all give believable and effective performances. All of them make their share of mistakes, and yet all three characters are worth caring for, and their mistakes are understandable ones. The double-life situation and its consequences for all concerned is set up so as to go against some of the usual preconceptions. O'Brien's character is lonely, but by no means ill-intentioned, and the situation is sad, never sordid.
The tone is somber almost from the beginning, and except for a couple of amusing references to Edmund Gwenn's earlier role in "Miracle on 34th Street", there are few or no moments of humor to break the tension. Thus you can feel the unending sense of foreboding that O'Brien's character feels in regard to the complications he has caused.
Lupino and the script also manage to provide an honest look at the situation with few hindrances from the strict production code of the era. Only at a couple of odd moments can you tell that they had to shift gears slightly so as to placate the censors. Although the movie is low-key and straightforward, it's a commendable effort, and it makes for good drama.
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