IMDb > Black Widow (1954)
Black Widow
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Black Widow (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.8/10   1,040 votes »
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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Nunnally Johnson (screen play)
Hugh Wheeler (novel) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Black Widow on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 March 1955 (Belgium) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
An electrifying drama about a predatory female! See more »
Plot:
A young writer insinuates herself into the life of a Broadway producer. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Fading stars breathe life into artificial murder mystery set on Broadway See more (36 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Ginger Rogers ... Carlotta 'Lottie' Marin

Van Heflin ... Peter Denver

Gene Tierney ... Iris Denver

George Raft ... Detective Lt. C.A. Bruce
Peggy Ann Garner ... Nancy 'Nanny' Ordway
Reginald Gardiner ... Brian Mullen
Virginia Leith ... Claire Amberly

Otto Kruger ... Gordon Ling
Cathleen Nesbitt ... Lucia Colletti
Skip Homeier ... 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
Mabel Albertson ... Sylvia (uncredited)

Bea Benaderet ... Mrs. Franklin Walsh (uncredited)
Nesdon Booth ... Police A.P.B. Man (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Harry Carter ... Police Sgt. Welch (uncredited)
Richard H. Cutting ... Police Sgt. Owens (uncredited)
Frances Driver ... Maid (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Virginia Maples ... Model (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Man in Hallway (uncredited)

Aaron Spelling ... Mr. Oliver (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Michael Vallon ... Coal Dealer (uncredited)
Geraldine Wall ... Gwen Mills (uncredited)

Frank Wilcox ... Zachary Paige (uncredited)
Wilson Wood ... Costume Designer (uncredited)

Directed by
Nunnally Johnson 
 
Writing credits
Nunnally Johnson (screen play)

Hugh Wheeler (novel 'Fatal Woman') (as Patrick Quentin)

Hugh Wheeler  (story) (as Patrick Quentin)

Produced by
Nunnally Johnson .... producer
 
Original Music by
Leigh Harline 
 
Cinematography by
Charles G. Clarke 
 
Film Editing by
Dorothy Spencer 
 
Art Direction by
Maurice Ransford 
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Set Decoration by
Dorcy Howard 
Walter M. Scott 
 
Costume Design by
Travilla 
 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Helen Turpin .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
A.F. Erickson .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
A.F. Erickson .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Eugene Grossman .... sound recordist
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound recordist (as Roger Heman)
Ralph Hickey .... sound editor (uncredited)
Kenneth Honnold .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Ray Kellogg .... special photographic effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Leonard Doss .... color consultant
 
Music Department
Lionel Newman .... conductor
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator
Richard Strauss .... music courtesy of
Bernard Mayers .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
95 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A | UK:12 | USA:Approved (PCA #17093, Adult Audience) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Maggie McNamara originally announced for role played by Peggy Ann Garner.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
References "Dragnet" (1951)See more »
Soundtrack:
Dance of the Seven VeilsSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
24 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Fading stars breathe life into artificial murder mystery set on Broadway, 6 October 2003
Author: bmacv from Western New York

No matter how pretentious the cocktail party, never escape by asking another wallflower out for dinner. That was theatrical producer Van Heflin's mistake when, on the terrace of Broadway diva Ginger Rogers' apartment, he took pity on hopeful young writer Peggy Ann Garner. Just a few months later, she was found hanged in the bathroom of his apartment.

It was all very innocent, though. While his wife, another star on the Rialto (Gene Tierney), was away tending to her ailing mother, Heflin let Garner use his place as a daytime office so she could write in quiet comfort. (Well, not so quiet: She listens to `The Dance of the Seven Veils' from Salome incessantly and fixates on a line from the opera: `The mystery of love is stronger than the mystery of death.') But when it turns out not only that she was pregnant but that she was murdered, the police sensibly enough find in Heflin their prime suspect.

Black Widow, written and directed by Nunnally Johnson, assembles an impressive array of Hollywood luminaries across whose resumés long shadows were beginning to creep. Along with Rogers, Tierney and Heflin, there's George Raft as a police detective, Otto Krueger as Garner's actor uncle and Reginald Gardiner as Rogers' whipped spouse. It's an ensemble-cast, 40s-high-style mystery movie, made about a decade too late but not too much the worse for that (even allowing for its color and Cinemascope).

Heflin's technically the center of the movie – the patsy racing around to prove his innocence. But the meatier parts go to the women, except for Tierney, all but wasted in the recessive role of the elegant but dutiful wife. Garner makes her abrupt exit early in the movie, but returns in startlingly revisionist flashbacks. And, as the grande dame (named `Carlotta,' perhaps in homage to another grande dame of the stage, Marie Dressler's Carlotta Vance in Dinner at Eight?), Rogers strides around in big-ticket outfits and fakes a highfalutin drama-queen accent. For most of the movie it seems like ill-fitting role for the essentially proletarian Rogers, but it's shrewdly written, and near the end she shows her true colors, becoming, briefly, sensational.

Like Repeat Performance and All About Eve, Black Widow uncoils in a high-strung, back-stabbing theatrical milieu that's now all but vanished – all the money and the glamour have moved west. (Not to put too fine a point on it, but the tiny part of a struggling Greenwich Village actor is taken by television producer Aaron Spelling, now one of the richest men in Hollywood.) The movie cheats a little by withholding information essential to our reading of the characters, but it's a forgivable feint; the characters are all `types' anyhow. There is, however, one baffling omission – there's not a single widow in the plot.

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