Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

THE MAN WITH TWO FACES


THE MAN WITH TWO FACES (1934), Director: Archie Mayo.

"The second act is still a fine piece of Limburger."

Actor Damon Welles (Edward G. Robinson)is appalled to learn that his brother-in-law Stanley Vance (Louis Calhern), isn't dead after all, but has come back into his sister Jessica's (Mary Astor) life and is exerting a seriously unhealthy influence over her. So he cooks up a scheme to disguise himself and ... This dull and predictable movie, based on a minor stage play, wastes the talents of its excellent cast, who give it more than it deserves. Ricardo Cortez plays a theatrical producer and John Eldredge is a playwright. Robinson has such a distinctive face, figure and aura that, fine actor that he is, it's difficult for him to successfully disguise himself. Crisp, well-composed photography is another bonus but nothing can overcome that creaky plot.

Verdict: Robinson is always worth watching. **.

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