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Dead Ringer (1964)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  19 February 1964 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,664 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 26 critic

The working class twin sister of a callous wealthy woman impulsively murders her out of revenge and assumes the identity of the dead woman. But impersonating her dead twin is more complicated and risky than she anticipated.

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Title: Dead Ringer (1964)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Margaret DeLorca / Edith Phillips
...
Sergeant Jim Hobbson
...
Tony Collins
...
Sergeant Hoag
...
Dede Marshall
...
Paul Harrison
...
Dona Anna
George Chandler ...
George, Chauffeur
Mario Alcalde ...
Garcia
Cyril Delevanti ...
Henry, the Butler
Monika Henreid ...
Janet
...
Daniel 'Dan' Lister, Bartender
Charles Watts ...
Apartment Manager
...
Captain Johnson
Edit

Storyline

After the funeral of her brother-in-law, Edith Phillips learns that Margaret de Lorca, her rich twin sister, had tricked her way into marriage with the man she also loved. So she kills Margaret and assumes her identity and life-style. However, her life becomes complicated by her late sister's sleazy boyfriend, Tony Collins and Sgt. Jim Hobbson, a Los Angeles detective who loved the "dead" Edith. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

twin | funeral | bar | murder | revenge | See All (44) »

Taglines:

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, now who's the fairest twin of all? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Who Is Buried in My Grave?  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original script was written in 1944 and sat on the shelf at Warner Brothers until 1963 when at long last it was finally in production. See more »

Goofs

As Edith is leaving her apartment for the final time after murdering her sister Maggie, she turns to look at her sister's dead body slouched over in the chair. You can see the dead body's chest moving, as Maggie's dead body is breathing. See more »

Quotes

Margaret DeLorca: When are you going back to San Francisco?
Edith Phillips: I haven't lived in San Francisco for ten years. Not since father died. A wino.
Margaret DeLorca: A wino?
Edith Phillips: Yes. He drank wine because he couldn't afford to buy whiskey anymore. After he was fired off the Express and every other newspaper west of the Rockies. They finally took him away in a straitjacket.
Margaret DeLorca: Oh, Edie, how awful! Poor Father. Why didn't you ever tell me?
Edith Phillips: Well, I did let you know about the funeral. But you didn't come... somehow.
Margaret DeLorca: We must have been in Europe. ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Die, Mommie, Die! (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Shuffle Off to Buffalo
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Sung by Bette Davis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave
16 October 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Bette Davis plays twin sisters, one glamorous, the other homely, in this tale of deception, betrayal, and murder. What makes the story so fascinating is its delicious irony, as the homely sister, Edith, becomes ever more ensnared in her own tangled web.

The story is marred slightly by some obvious contrivances and plot holes. But it has lots of twists and turns. And Bette Davis, with her memorable voice, her gestures, and those Bette Davis eyes renders the Edith character engaging, as she realizes something important that she had not foreseen, and then makes an effort not to be found out. It's all about the internal tension of faking a false identity.

Much of the plot is consumed in detail, as we watch Edith squirm and fret when confronted with small tasks like switching clothes with a corpse, faking a signature, or determining the combination to a wall safe. These action details are somewhat tedious. But they give Davis lots of opportunity to act.

The film's B&W cinematography is fine. The split screen technology wherein both sisters appear together in the same scene is rather self-conscious, but was quite advanced for its time. Rear screen projection is another technique that is used, but seems primitive by today's technical standards. The film's lighting is quite good.

The film gets off to a really good start with a snazzy, and very Hitchcockian, title sequence accompanied by Andre Previn's excellent original score. The film's supporting cast includes Karl Malden, Estelle Winwood, and Jean Hagen. But, though they are all credible in their roles, this film belongs to Bette Davis. It's her show. And a viewer's response to the film will hinge largely on their impression of Bette Davis and her ability to play two roles. Personally, I think she did a splendid job.


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