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

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


SISTERS-IN-LAW (1968). Director: Armand DiAntoni.

Filmed in Italy, this surprisingly effective and poignant shocker teams Bette Davis and Faith (It Came from Beneath the Sea) Domergue [pictured] as two women trying to come to terms with each other as they live together in a crumbling mansion a la Baby Jane. But the plot line is very different. Davis was married to Domergue's brother, whose death has always been shrouded in mystery. Many believe that he was murdered by Davis, but her sister-in-law has always maintained that her brother committed suicide. She has other issues with Davis, however, especially her jealousy of Davis' relationship with a handsome, aging gigolo played by Gregor Tanese. Davis is more restrained than usual, turning the histrionics over to Domergue, who is not only credible but fascinating. There are two grisly murders, and a very surprising denouement. To say any more would be criminal.

Verdict: Grand Guignol galore. ***.

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