6.7/10
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6 user 3 critic

Twilight Women (1952)

Women of Twilight (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 15 May 1953 (USA)
An unmarried nightclub singer, Vivanne Bruce, is thrown on her own when her lover, Jerry Nolan, is arrested for murder. Searching for a place to live, she eventually finds a room in a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Rene Ray ...
...
...
Vida Hope ...
Joan Dowling ...
...
Dorothy Gordon ...
Ingeborg von Kusserow ...
Lili, the German Boarder (as Ingeborg Wells)
Mary Germaine ...
Veronica
Clare James ...
Molly
Betty Henderson ...
The Nurse
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Storyline

An unmarried nightclub singer, Vivanne Bruce, is thrown on her own when her lover, Jerry Nolan, is arrested for murder. Searching for a place to live, she eventually finds a room in a boarding-house run by "Nellie" Alistair, a ruthless woman who provides room-and-board for unmarried mothers with an ulterior motive...selling children for adoption. Vivanne resents having to share a room with Chris Ralston, who arrives with her young son, but they become friends when Chris intervenes on Vivanne's behalf in an argument with another boarder. Vivanne is caring for Chris' child, and, when it becomes ill, she turns to "Nellie" for help but is refused. The baby dies and Vivanne fights with "Nellie", who pushes her down a flight of stairs. A doctor and a nurse are called and Vivanne delivers a daughter. The police are notified by the nurse when the nature of the boarding house is ascertained, and "Nellie" is arrested. Vivanne gives her new-born baby to Chris to "replace" her own because she ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Today's One-Mistake Girls!

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Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

15 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Another Chance  »

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1.37 : 1
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The first British-made film to be given an 'X' certificate. See more »

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Object Lesson in English Postwar Acting - Female Variety
27 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

Originally a play, the director has chosen not to open it up, so that the story is housebound and, by the standards of 63 years later, hokey - I mean, 40% of American children are born out of wedlock today, yet back in 1952, when that figure was no more than 6 or 7 percent, the subject could hardly be mentioned in American films. One assumes more or less the same percentages in England, yet over there they could meet the challenge head on and actually make a film in which most of the female characters are unwed mothers, some expecting to be wed in time, others having given up hope, still others benefiting from the Total Woe. If that sounds unpromising, watch this film, for it is an object lesson in fine acting by (mainly) postwar British actresses (the only male role in the film with more than a few lines is Lawrence Harvey's), and despite the high theatrics, you may be riveted for its running length. It boasts some incredible talent, actresses who rarely crossed the ocean, so to speak (only Lois Maxwell, later of James Bond fame, would be well-known outside Britain, but she was Canadian and had her acting chops honed in Great Britain, too). Maxwell is fine, but there are several other actresses who were practically English stage, screen and variety royalty - and I do mean the ever-bonkers Freda Jackson (see her steal "Brides of Dracula" from Peter Cushing and Martita Hunt, if your heart can stand it); the greatly talented Rene Ray, the erstwhile 'young' star of the film, who by this time was past 40 (and looked it) and had been a star for 20 years in film, on stage, and as a singer (and would shortly go on to great success as a science fiction writer!); Vida Hope as Jackson's venomous assistant, exuding pure vitriol much of the time; and the ever-delightful Dora Bryan, who rather than being considered simply a British Institution was surely recognized as a National Treasure. Add to them the tragic Joan Dowling (a suicide at 26) as the Giggling One, Barbara Gordon as the Mad One, etc. and you have a feast of high-powered acting to wallow in. If you are not predisposed to such wallowing, this may not be your cup of tea, but it is the kind of film that could have been made (had they all been of the proper age at the same time) with Katina Paxinou in the Jackson role, Bette Davis in the Ray one, maybe early Eleanor Parker in the Maxwell role, maybe Shirley Maclaine as a good substitute for Bryan, Goldie Hawn in the giggling Dowling role, and Sandy Dennis as Gordon's Mad One. Or, given today's computer graphics, you could have had Glenn Close in her best FATAL ATTRACTION mode replacing Freda Jackson, and Meryl Streep playing everybody else! It's that kind of ensemble acting film, but Streep is an ensemble all by herself. Anyway, enjoy the wallow. Otherwise, pass it by. (But, if you do, you'll really be missing something!)

PS: IMDb gives Lois Maxwell's height as 5'8", but in every scene in this film in which she is standing with any or all of the acting ensemble, she seems to be a foot taller than anybody else in the room!


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