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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Dead Ringer can be found here.
Edith "Edie" Phillips (Bette Davis) has never forgiven her twin sister Margaret "Maggie" de Lorca (also played by Bette Davis) from stealing her boyfriend by claiming to be pregnant with his child. When the well-to-do Francesco "Frank" de Lorca dies 18 years later of a heart attack and Edie learns that there never was a baby, something in her snaps. She murders Maggie and assumes her identity, and "Edie" is pronounced a suicide. However, things become complicated by Maggie's golf pro boyfriend Tony Collins (Peter Lawford), who is the first to figure out the switch, and by Los Angeles detective Jim Hobbson (Karl Malden), who was in love with the "dead" Edie.
Dead Ringer was based on the story "La Otra" ["The Other"] by American screenwriter Rian James. The story had previously been made into a Mexican film in 1946 as La otra and was adapted for Dead Ringer by Albert Beich and Oscar Millard. Dead Ringer was remade in 1986 as the made-for-TV movie Killer in the Mirror.
Forgive me Maggie. Thanks for offering to help, but somehow it's not worth the effort anymore. Edie
When arsenic is found in Frank's body, "Maggie" is accused of poisoning him, stands trial, is convicted, and is sentenced to die in the gas chamber. As she is being transferred to San Quentin, Jim asks whether she was telling the truth when she told him that she was really Edie. She replies, "I'm Margaret de Lorca, Sergeant. As you said, Edie would never have hurt a fly." In the final scene, she gets in the police car, and Sergeant Hobbson watches as "Maggie" is driven away.
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