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Chained for Life (1952)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | January 1952 (USA)
A Siamese twin kills the husband who left her. The courts have to decide if she is convicted of murder, how can they punish her sister, who had nothing to do with the crime?


Harry L. Fraser


Nat Tanchuck (screenplay), Albert DePina (additional dialogue) (as Albert de Pina) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Violet Hilton Violet Hilton ... Vivian Hamilton (as The Hilton Sisters)
Daisy Hilton Daisy Hilton ... Dorothy Hamilton (as The Hilton Sisters)
Mario Laval Mario Laval ... Andre Pariseau
Allen Jenkins ... Hinkley
Patricia Wright Patricia Wright ... Renée
Alan Keys Alan Keys ... Defense Attorney
Norval Mitchell Norval Mitchell ... Judge Mitchell (as Norvel Mitchell)
Edna Holland ... Mabel
Brian O'Hara Brian O'Hara ... Mr. MacKenzie
Herbert Lytton ... District Attorney
Jack Mulhall ... Dr. Thompson
James Hope James Hope ... (as Jim Hope)
Roy Regnier Roy Regnier ... Rev. Dr. Burnham
Zena Barry Zena Barry ... (as Zena Bary)
Tony Iavello Tony Iavello ... Singer (as Tony Lavello)


Siamese twins are a singing act, apparently in vaudeville. Their manager, to drum up business bribes a man who has a shooting act to become romantically involved with her. The bribe works and business increases dramatically. The man proposes marriage and the proposal is accepted. He walks out on her on their wedding night to remain with his assistant with whom he has a relationship. The sister of the rejected bride shoots him during his act. The movie starts with the judge, who is hearing the case without a jury, advises us, the audience, that this is a difficult case. The movie poses the question of whether he can punish the one who is the shooter without punishing the other sister. Written by davidfbook@sbcglobal.net

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Joined together, how can they make love to separate husbands? See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Much of the plot was derived from real events in the lives of Siamese twins Daisy Hilton and Violet Hilton: the sham-marriage for publicity; the difficulty getting a marriage license due to morals concerns; the vaudeville singing career. See more »


Vivian Hamilton: we've always said we were like other people yet different; from the moment we started to crawl and the leg of the table got between us and we couldn't pass.
See more »


Featured in Bound by Flesh (2012) See more »

User Reviews

Lame performances, lovely voices.
25 July 1999 | by ChrissieSee all my reviews

If you've missed "Chained for Life," you haven't missed much. Based loosely (very loosely) on Siamese twins Daisy and Violent Hilton's lives, Chained For Life is low melodrama at its lamest. The starring ladies did, however, sing very sweetly, and their musical performances are worth sitting through the rest of the movie.

The movie opens with a judge begging the audience for help in resolving a terrible dilemma. The action moves to a courtroom, where conjoined twin Vivian Hamilton is on trial for the shooting death of her sister Dorothy's two-timing husband. The story unfolds in flashback as various characters are called to testify about how a publicity stunt turned to cruel heartbreak and eventually murder.

With a premise close to the sisters' real-life romances, "Chained for Life" could have been compelling drama in the hands of competent writers, a competent cast, and a director capable of pulling adequate performances out of Daily and Violet. We're left with a pure exploitation film, memorable only for its novelty.

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Release Date:

January 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enchaînées pour la vie See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Spera Productions Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Film Detective DVD-R)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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