IMDb > Portrait in Black (1960)
Portrait in Black
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Portrait in Black (1960) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.7/10   675 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Ivan Goff (screenplay) and
Ben Roberts (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Portrait in Black on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 July 1960 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
They touched...and an evil spark was struck! See more »
Plot:
After a married woman and her lover murder her cruel husband, they find themselves targeted by someone who is aware of their crime. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A terrific Douglas Sirk kind of film with touches of a Hitchcock plot...great! See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Lana Turner ... Sheila Cabot

Anthony Quinn ... Dr. David Rivera

Richard Basehart ... Howard Mason

Sandra Dee ... Cathy Cabot

John Saxon ... Blake Richards

Ray Walston ... Cobb
Virginia Grey ... Miss Lee

Anna May Wong ... Tawny
Dennis Kohler ... Peter Cabot

Lloyd Nolan ... Matthew S. Cabot
Elizabeth Chan ... Chinese Dancer

John Wengraf ... Dr. Kessler
John McNamara ... Minister
George Womack ... Foreman
Paul Birch ... Detective Lieutenant
Robert P. Lieb (as Robert Lieb)
James Nolan ... Detective
Richard Norris ... Mr. Corbin
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Bryan ... Patrolman (uncredited)
Harold Goodwin ... Patrolman (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Funeral Guest (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Sheila's Chauffeur (uncredited)
Henry S. Quan ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Charles P. Thompson ... Sid (uncredited)
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Directed by
Michael Gordon 
 
Writing credits
Ivan Goff (screenplay) and
Ben Roberts (screenplay)

Ivan Goff (based upon the play by) and
Ben Roberts (based upon the play by)

Produced by
Ross Hunter .... producer
 
Original Music by
Frank Skinner 
 
Cinematography by
Russell Metty (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Milton Carruth 
 
Art Direction by
Richard H. Riedel 
 
Set Decoration by
Julia Heron 
 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Del Armstrong .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Pat Westmore .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Edward Muhl .... in charge of production
Edward Dodds .... unit production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Phil Bowles .... assistant director
Douglas Green .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
John Faltis .... props (uncredited)
Solly Martino .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Waldon O. Watson .... sound
Henry Wilkinson .... sound
Glenn E. Anderson .... sound (uncredited)
Tom Rennings .... sound (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Ted White .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Virgil Proctor .... best boy
George Dye .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ledge Haddow .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Carl Johnston .... grip (uncredited)
Rollie Lane .... still photographer (uncredited)
Max Nippell .... gaffer (uncredited)
Eddie Pyle .... camera operator (uncredited)
Walter Woodworth .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Adene Henderson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Norman Mayries .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Viola Thompson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Joseph Gershenson .... music supervisor
Inez James .... composer: musical theme
Buddy Pepper .... composer: musical theme
 
Other crew
David Webb .... jewels
Leon Charles .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Jack Diamond .... publicity director (uncredited)
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer (uncredited)
Don Morgan .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Dolores Rubin .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
112 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Sweden:15 | USA:Approved (certificate #19622) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In the mid-1940's, this was announced as a project for Joan Crawford and James Mason.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007)See more »

FAQ

World Premiere Happened When & Where?
See more »
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
A terrific Douglas Sirk kind of film with touches of a Hitchcock plot...great!, 14 August 2011
Author: secondtake from United States

Portrait in Black (1960)

In a beautifully drippy, bleeding, sticky Douglas Sirk mode, and one year after leading lady Lana Turner appeared in Sirk's "Imitation of Life," this highly slick and artificial (and yet moving) melodrama is one of the high points in a low period of Hollywood. The other main character is Anthony Quinn, who is remarkable, too, one of those underrated leading men, I'm not sure why. The two of them are supported by Richard Basehart as a fascinating and chilling underling with a peculiar mysterious cheerfulness, and Sandra Dee, who plays the spoiled daughter all too well (as you can imagine).

Unlike Sirk's dramas, this one, directed by is not just about normal human dramas (soap opera stuff), but adds a criminal and suspense element that kicks in after half an hour. The throbbing music takes on a different meaning here, and the sobbing and regrets make for an intense ride.

The deeper you get into this movie, the deeper the plot gets, with intrigue and worry and more murder mounting. And it's all filmed with fluid, rich, widescreen color photography, with intensely rendered music (that holds nothing back), and with a subtle kind of attention to nuance that oddly adds to the excesses of the plot.

And it's the plot, the story, that is so finely tuned it sustains all this cinematic swaying. It's not like some movies where the music or the photography drives the plot--here they are woven together really well, artfully and emphatically. Quinn and Turner are both extraordinary, lifting what could have been a soap opera to something completely fuller.

Russell Metty, behind the camera, was at the peak of his career, having shot not only "Imitation of Life" the year before but Sirk's early "Written on the Wind" (and moving on quickly to several masterpieces like "Spartacus" and "The Misfits"). And in fact the composer, veteran Frank Skinner, wrote the music for those two classic Sirk films, as well. It's worth stressing all this because Sirk has a huge (and deserved) following, and I have a feeling this one is just under the radar of Sirk fans. If a great Sirk film seems to almost reference itself the way it becomes so perfectly "arch" in its stereotypes, "Portrait in Black" does maintain a sense of being still a film wanting to move a plot idea along (these are subtle differences about style becoming affectation on purpose). But even so, the parallels are extraordinary, and this is a remarkable movie on those terms.

It's worth wondering what else, beyond Sirk, was going on around this time, and in fact, with the murder and suspense here it helps to look at Hitchcock's films "North by Northwest" (1959) and "Vertigo" (1958). Both are clearly influences in filming style, lacking only that higher level of stylized artfulness (and storytelling) that Hitch was by then such a master of. Or then, you might say, there was perhaps the influence of Sirk on Hitchcock, at least in the visual richness and fluidity (something Hitch abandoned immediately, almost making a point, this very year with "Psycho").

Anyway, if you don't mind an over the top melodrama done to perfection, here you go. And for movie fans, check out Anna May Wong's last film appearance (not a great performance, but she's her own legend). See it on the biggest screen you can, too--this doesn't translate well at all to a laptop experience.

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