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Black Widow (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 4 March 1955 (Belgium)
A young writer insinuates herself into the life of a Broadway producer.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (novel) (as Patrick Quentin) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Detective Lt. C.A. Bruce
...
Nancy 'Nanny' Ordway
...
Brian Mullen
...
Claire Amberly
...
Gordon Ling
Cathleen Nesbitt ...
Lucia Colletti
...
John Amberly
Hilda Simms ...
Anne
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anthony De Mario ...
Tony - Bartender (as Tony De Mario)
James Stone ...
Fritz - Stage Door Attendant
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Storyline

A married Broadway producer is taken with an innocent young woman who wants to be a writer and make it on Broadway. He decides to take her under his wing, but it's not long before the young lady is found dead in his apartment. At first thought to be a suicide, it is later discovered that she has been murdered, and suspicion immediately falls on the producer. He begins his own investigation in order to clear his name, and one of the first things he finds out is that the young woman wasn't quite as naive and innocent as she appeared to be. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An electrifying drama about a predatory female! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 March 1955 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

A Viúva Negra  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,095,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nunnally Johnson originally offered the role played by Ginger Rogers to Tallulah Bankhead, who called the writer-producer and--in a 25-minute phone conversation--gave him her reasons for rejecting the role. Rogers turned the part down as well, but had a change of heart after Johnson sent her a letter asking her to reconsider--on the proviso that she could take the relatively minor role and make it into a star-turn. See more »

Goofs

The tray emptying out in four seconds was an obvious joke. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Peter Denver: I hope you find your mother better, honey.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance of the Seven Veils
from "Salome"
Music by Richard Strauss
Played occasionally throughout the picture
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Drawingroom Gets a Face-lift
14 August 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Five years earlier, this drawingroom drama would have been filmed in small screen b&w. But the year is 1954 and film audiences are staying home with their new-fangled little black boxes. So a big budget studio like TCF takes what amounts to an "Ellery Queen in Manhattan" plot, gussies it up in lavish color, stretches the screen to Cinemascope length, loads up the marquee with big names, and sends the result out to compete with Lucille Ball and Milton Berle. I don't know how well the strategy succeeded commercially, but I enjoyed the movie then and still do.

As a whodunit, the mystery's only partially successful—not enough suspects and too convoluted to follow. At the same time, the pacing sometimes sags in ways that undercut the suspense. Still, the 95 minutes does add up to a gorgeous tapestry, thanks to expert art direction, set decoration, and a well-upholstered cast. And who could hold together a sometimes-confusing storyline better than the always-reliable Van Heflin. Also, I expect urbane writer-director Nunnally Johnson fit comfortably with the sophisticated Manhattan setting and show-biz personalities. So, it's not surprising that he gets off some insider innuendo. Catch the cocktail party shot at gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, known for her bizarre headgear; I expect Johnson was settling an old score there. Then too, having the ingénue (Garner) turn up mysteriously pregnant is rather daring for the straitjacketed Production Code period. Also, watch for the skinny young actor (Oliver) interviewed by Heflin near film's end. That's future TV mogul Aaron Spelling getting a proverbial foot in the door.

Anyway, the film provides an entertaining glimpse of drawingroom drama getting a face-lift during the early years of the television challenge.


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