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

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Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   718 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 fun Ross Hunter soap opera from 1960 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)

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 Dimond .... publicity director (uncredited)
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer (uncredited)
Don Morgan .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Dolores Rubin .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
Final film of Anna May Wong.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Miss Lee approaches Cathy and Blake the restaurant, Blake is holding a cup in his right hand and places it down. In the next shot, he's holding the cup in his left hand and puts it down again.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007)See more »

FAQ

World Premiere Happened When & Where?
See more »
12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
A fun Ross Hunter soap opera from 1960, 5 January 2007
Author: mrsastor from United States

Portrait In Black is in many respects typical of the Ross Hunter films that rejuvenated Lana Turner's later career. If you're a fan of the genre, this one is quite entertaining, and in my opinion far superior to the previous year's terrible remake of Imitation of Life.

Portrait In Black brings us a torrid soap opera revolving around the relationship between the wife of a wealthy shipping magnate, Sheila Cabot, and her husband's physician, Dr. David Rivera. Unable to bear having only a few stolen moments for the each other, they conspire to murder Sheila's husband so they can be together. They subsequently find themselves blackmailed and must determine who is the blackmailer and how they will extricate themselves from this web of danger that continues to keep them separated.

As previous reviewers have pointed out, there are some rather silly aspects to the story, but these again are typical of the genre. For beginners, Sheila's husband Matt Cabot is said to have a hopeless terminal illness and to have been ill for many months. Thus, their motivation for murdering him is rather weak; he will soon die without any malicious intent on their part. If they really could not bear the wait, the idea proposed in the script, that they cannot just run away together because Matt Cabot would ruin Dr. Rivera's career and he would "never practice medicine again", is a rather unrealistic threat (although admittedly common in soap opera land). Dr. Rivera's home gives the impression he is already quite wealthy, it is not as though these two would be condemned to a life of poverty and want. These plot holes are exasperated by the poorly directed love scenes between David and Sheila, which consist of much-overplayed melodramatic panting, gasping, crying, and an inordinate and unnatural amount of chewing on one another's hands. Secondly, there are a few script blunders that could have been easily corrected. When Dr. Rivera requires Sheila to drive, he puts her in the car and has to explain what the gas and brake are for, yet in scene one we are told Sheila has been issued a learner's permit by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A learner's permit allows one to drive so long as another licensed driver is present, and one would obviously have to have mastered the basics of what makes the car go in order to be issued such a permit. The plot of device that Sheila "doesn't drive" would have been far more believable without the unnecessary learner's permit in the script. There are a number of similar absent-minded script errors here.

Having said that, one does not watch a period Ross Hunter soaper for realism. One watches it for drama, and the lush and beautiful feel we expect from Mr. Hunter. In this regard, Portrait does not disappoint. Our setting is upper crust Nob Hill in San Francisco. The Cabot home, with the exception of the library being inexplicably painted black, is breathtaking. Lana Turner is stunning, and of course immaculately outfitted in high class fashions, shoes, hats, furs, and jewels at all times, as is Sandra Dee in her second role as Lana Turner's daughter (well, step-daughter in this one). Drama abounds and the at times weak script is handled expertly by the well seasoned cast, including Richard Basehart, Ray Walston, Virginia Grey, Anna Mae Wong, and John Saxon. While Anthony Quinn would have been ideally suited to his role of Dr. David Rivera if the film had been made fifteen years earlier, he is so badly addled by Michael Gordon's incompetent direction in this role it makes him seem a bit past it (with the exception of Pillow Talk, none of Mr. Gordon's films are particularly well directed).

All things considered, this film easily meets its purpose, to entertain and is fun to watch…if you can find it. It is not out on DVD, is no longer available on VHS, and is seldom aired on television. But if you get the chance, it's well worth a watch.

UPDATE: This film was release on DVD in Jan 2008, and it looks great!

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