5.9/10
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Twist of Fate (1954)

Beautiful Stranger (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 5 November 1954 (USA)
Ginger Rogers, an actress living with Stanley Baker on the Riveria, becomes involved with Jacques Bergerac and learns he is a dangerous criminal.

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(original story), | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
'Johnny' Victor
...
Emil Landosh
...
Louis Galt
...
Pierre Clemont
...
Marie Galt
...
Luigi
Coral Browne ...
Helen
...
Yvette
Lily Kann ...
Nicole
...
Police Chief
...
Georges
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Storyline

Ginger Rogers is in love with an international businessman, Stanley Baker, who is actually the head of a syndicate that mints illegal coins for the Continental market. But she soon learns that Baker has been deceiving her and has no intentions of divorcing his wife. So she meets Jacques Bergerac, a potter, and falls for him (onscreen and off). Into this little slice of life comes Herbert Lom, a confidence man, and he steals a bracelet that Baker had given Rogers and uses it to pay a debt. Enter a twist-of-fate (the US title that describes the film a lot better than the UK title, which is not unusual for films going from America to England but seldon vice-versa), and it ends up in Baker's hands. Strained creditabilty aside since many, many films depend on beating the coincidental odds, Baker assumes that Lom is Rogers' lover, and this sin't a good assumption on his part sinve Lom kills him and then makes it appear as if Rogers and Bergerac did the deed. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Shock After Shock! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 November 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twist of Fate  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ginger Rogers and her co-star Jacques Bergerac, who plays Pierre, were married in real life at the time of making this. They had first met in Paris in 1952 and instantly fell in love. See more »

Goofs

When Louis and Johnny leave for the casino after showing her the new yacht, Johnny takes a number of steps walking out of shot. Next shot when Louis asker her to wait in the car she is right in front of him. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 21 November 1954 (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
(uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Sung in French at Pierre's
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ruthless people
23 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In fact, there are so many coincidences and misunderstandings in this movie it looks as though the makers of 1986's "Ruthless People" looked to this film for inspiration in writing that comedy.

Ginger Rogers plays Johnny Victor, an ex-showgirl who has become the mistress of Louis Galt (Stanley Baker). Everything she thinks she knows about him is wrong. She thinks he's been long legally separated from his wife and waiting on the divorce to become final - in fact he is estranged from his wife but very married. She thinks him to be head of a family business - he is, but it's his wife's family business, and any divorce would be the end of his executive life and the end of the front for his real business - counterfeiting illegal coins.

Now that's the straight-forward part of the film. The rest of it is one long string of coincidences and misunderstandings. First off, Johnny is friends with Emil (Herbert Lom) who is a con artist. She gives him money because she thinks the money is going to his sick wife. Emil is also working for Louis (several flights down in the chain) selling the counterfeit coins. Neither Louis nor Johnny know that the other one knows Emil. Emil owes Louis a bunch of money he can't pay back because he gambled it away, so he thinks he can get the money back by robbing Johnny's safe when she's away from home. He does so, and escapes detection by Johnny, but he takes something that was a personal gift from Louis. When Louis sees the bracelet up for hock and realizes Emil hocked it he thinks Johnny has a lover and it is Emil. Well, Johnny does have a new love, one she met after she found out Louis was permanently married, but he is an artist in the village, not Emil.

The end result is all of these people are arguing with each other yet none of them are on the same page. Emil is the only one who has most of the facts, and he's perfect as the cowardly little weasel. Somehow this not too bright piece of inhuman slime manages to steal even more loot, commit what seems to be the perfect murder, and frame unknowing suspects. One piece of advice here from years of watching Perry Mason - if you are ever in such a catbird seat, just walk away from the scene of the crime and act like you were never there - that's what people who want to appear innocent do. Do not follow the people you framed to see how it all turns out.

This is a European noir so there are certain techniques in style and acting that make it different from its American counterparts, but it is still an edge of the seat viewing experience. Only Ginger Rogers and maybe Herbert Lom will likely be familiar to American viewers. If those of you who recognize Lom know him only as Inspector Dreyfuss from the Pink Panther movies you'll find Lom's portrayal of the slowly emotionally unraveling Emil a revelation. Highly recommended.


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