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.
Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge and predictable complications result.
Charlotte Hollis, an aging recluse deluded into a state of dementia by horrible memories and hallucinations, lives in a secluded house where, thirty-seven years before, John Mayhew her married lover, was beheaded and mutilated by an unknown assailant. Written by
Barbara Stanwyck and Loretta Young were both offered the role of Miriam when Joan Crawford became ill but they turned it down. Young felt the role was totally wrong for her, saying "I don't believe in horror stories for women and I wouldn't play a part like that if I were starving." At the time Crawford was good friends with both Stanwyck and Young. See more »
As Miriam arrives, the scene from inside the cab clearly shows the driver turning right to go around the circular driveway. A second later, shot from the house, the cab is still going straight before reaching the point where it has to turn. See more »
Big Sam Hollis:
I can't even look at Charlotte without ugly thoughts rip my guts! I'd sooner it been one of my field boys.
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It's tough to beat this for a good, deep cast: Bette Davsi, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorhead, Cecil Kellaway, Victor Buono, Mary Astor and Bruce Dern.
My favorite character in here was played by Moorhead. She was excellent as the eccentric (but very perceptive) housekeeper. I wish Kellaway's role had been bigger. It was interesting, too, to see such a young Dern. Davis looked really grotesque, but that was the idea. Kudos for her to not care about her looks.
Speaking of looks, the best feature in here might have been the cinematography. I have not seen this on DVD but I'd like to and wonder if it looks tremendous. It sure looked good on VHS. And that theme song! It is played throughout the movie and once you hear it, as I first did in the theater over 40 years ago, you never forget it.
My lone complaint is the length of the film. At 133 minutes, I think it would have been a lot tighter and better at about 110. However, even though there were definite lulls in the story, they were never that long in length.
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