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

Thursday, September 17, 2009


THE BIGAMIST (1953). Director: Ida Lupino.

"How could a man like you, successful, respected, get into a situation as vile as this?"

When Harry Graham (Edmond O'Brien) and his wife Eve (Joan Fontaine) apply to adopt a child, Mr. Jordan (Edmund Gwenn), who's in charge of investigating the couple's background, discovers that Graham has another wife, Phyllis (Ida Lupino) in another city where he frequently travels for business. The rest of the film is a flashback as Graham tries to explain to the horrified Jordan exactly how he got into this situation. The Bigamist is completely absorbing, realistically and logically explaining how Graham fell in love with two women, and is beautifully acted by the entire cast. Lupino's direction is on the mark, as is her acting, and O'Brien is excellent. The picture is nearly stolen by Joan Fontaine, who has a splendid moment as she reacts to the terrible news delivered to her over the phone by a friend. Jane Darwell and Kenneth Tobey have small roles, and there's a nice musical score by Leith Stevens.

Verdict: Adult drama with fine performances. ***.

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