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

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Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   1,013 votes »
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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:
Tightly constructed, beautifully filmed, straight up high society suspense 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:
Second of two consecutive years (first was in Forever Female (1953))) in which Ginger Rogers played an aging Broadway diva.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Early in the movie, at Lottie's party the waiter first pauses with a full tray of assorted drinks--then passes uninterrupted through the crowd to offer the single remaining drink to Peter Denver.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:
I Know Why (and So Do You)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Tightly constructed, beautifully filmed, straight up high society suspense, 17 August 2011
Author: secondtake from United States

Black Widow (1954)

An early full color Cinemascope drama, loaded with starts, and written by a high powered but somewhat forgotten stage and screen writer of the 40s and 50s, Nunnally Johnson. And this is one of a handful of films he directed, too. It's really quite a fully blossomed drama, and it grows with complexity as it goes. And it's packed with stars. The leading man has always impressed me even though he's not the handsome or powerful sort that usually commands the first credits, Van Heflin. he's really amazing, subtle and perfectly sophisticated and well meaning and (eventually) tortured.

His wife is played with usual cool cheerfulness by Gene Tierney, and their neighbor and friend is a haughty and ridiculous (perfectly so) Ginger Rogers. Rogers takes her role to the hilt, both in arrogance and frivolity and later in emotional breakdown.

What ensues is not just highbrow Broadway theater culture, but eventually a criminal (or psychologically suspenseful) tidal wave sweeps over the relatively lightweight beginnings, and the effect is kind of remarkable in its own way. I mean, it's so completely theatrical and melodramatic, and yet it really works as an interpersonal and heartfelt (and probing) drama, too. The writing is smart, nuanced, and it plays the line of being exactly what it is--meaning that it's about the very world that Johnson lives in.

The cop in this case is George Raft, always a little stiff and stiff again here, but he does his job. The seductress who is the center of all these talents is Peggy Ann Garner. Who is she? Well, after several years of being a successful child actress, and except for a small role in an obscure 1951 Fred Zinnemann film as an adult, Garner was a television actress (including some t.v. movies) bouncing from one series to another. Then, at the end of her career, she had small roles in three more features. And in many ways, she's the weak link here--she's supposed to be sleeping her way to success in the theater world, and yet there's something not quite right about her in this role. I suppose I underestimate middle aged rich men.

The plot this girl weaves for those around her is elaborate and devilish. And when it goes wrong for her, it really goes wrong for our main man Heflin. At the point the film is very much like Hitchcock film, with the apparently innocent man accused of a crime. Unlike Hitchcock, Johnson uses flashbacks at key points near the end., which do their job but also have a way of deflating the suspense.

See for yourself!

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