The working-class twin sister of a callous, wealthy woman impulsively murders her out of revenge and assumes her identity. 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.
Aged, wealthy Charlotte Hollis has lived as a recluse in the crumbling family plantation mansion in Hollisport, Louisiana since her father Sam Hollis' death thirty-six years ago. The only people who regularly see her are her hard-as-nails but seemingly loyal housekeeper, Velma Crowther, and her longtime friend and physician, Dr. Drew Bayliss. She has lived there most of her life except for a short stint in London thirty-seven years ago following the vicious murder of her married lover, John Mayhew, at the plantation's summer house while Sam was hosting one of his legendary grand balls in the mansion. She and John had planned to run off together that night, but instead he was bludgeoned to death, his head and right hand severed from his body. Nobody was ever convicted for his murder, but most people believe Charlotte did it after John changed his mind about running off with her. They also believe that Charlotte, whom they haven't seen in years, is a crazy old woman. Conversely, ...Written by
John Megna, who plays the little boy dared to enter Charlotte's "haunted" mansion near the beginning of the film, had also appeared as the bragadocious neighbor boy who spent a memorable summer living next door to Atticus Finch and his family in To Kill a Mockingbird. See more »
In the ballroom dance scene near the beginning of the film, the women's hairstyles are 1964 vintage, rather than in 1927 style as the scene calls for. See more »
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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