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Cast a Dark Shadow (1955) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • A clever fortune-hunter with a penchant for murder does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results in a decision of 'accidental death', our crafty killer discovers that his late wife's 'fortune' is not what he thought it was. Driven to find another unsuspecting spouse; he discovers that his new bride, a widow, is no fool. When she tells him that she intends to keep her accounts separate from his, he is driven to contemplate murder once again.

  • After one year of marriage, fortune hunter Edward Bare - who is affectionately referred to as Teddy (as in "teddy bear") by his older, wealthy wife, Monica - manages to kill her, making it look like an accidental death on her part, which it is eventually ruled as by the coroner. He killed her now as he recently had a discussion with her convincing her not to write a will making him her sole beneficiary which she intended to do - as such casting any possible aspersion away from him as a murderer - under the presumption that she had no will, which would mean that her entire estate would go to him regardless. Edward is dismayed to learn that Moni did have a will written immediately after they got married, leaving all her money to her Jamaica-residing sister, Dora, who she had not seen in twenty years, but leaving him the house in which they live. Despite the will also stating that Moni's money would revert to him on the event of Dora's death, Edward has no means to be able to kill her. Moni's lawyer, Phillip Mortimer, makes it clear to Edward that he has never trusted him and believes he is responsible for Moni's death. Within this context, Edward has no money now on which to live, making him move to his next victim, brash Freda Jeffries, who he meets at a seaside resort. Nouveau riche widowed Freda gained her wealth through the sale of her deceased husband's business, a saloon. Following Edward and Freda's marriage, he finds that Freda is not nearly as trusting of him with her money as Moni was with hers, Freda treating her money as her own, as such making Edward's task of living high off Freda's wealth more difficult. Freda's non-trust is due in part to Edward spending time with a woman named Charlotte Young, who Edward, through his previous work as a property broker, is helping find some property to open an equestrian school. Edward knows that he can't kill Freda, at least not yet, because the death of two wives in such close succession would cause suspicion. However, Edward has no idea how profound an affect Charlotte will have on his life with Freda based on a secret Charlotte is keeping.

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Synopsis

  • Married to an older woman Edward "Teddy" Bare (Dirk Bogarde) is a little too slick in how he tends to his wife, plying her with plenty of drink and soothing her with fairy tales. When wifey Monica Bare (Mona Washbourne) calls in the family attorney to make changes to her will Teddy believe she intends to cut up her estate to include her family and leaving him out so he arranges for Mona to fall asleep for good. When family lawyer Phillip Mortimer (Robert Flemyng) tells Teddy that all Mona left him is the house, the sly manipulator finds himself out of funds so he sets his sights on recently widowed barkeeper Freda Jeffries (Margaret Lockwood) who agrees to marry the young man only if they share everything pound for pound thus insuring her money is safe. Deciding he needs another wife he sets his eyes on Charlotte Young (Kay Walsh) and begins charming her, but Freda gets involved, and Teddy realizing that Charlotte is not what she seems and in a dramatic climax the hard truth comes out.

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