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

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Eleanor Parker and Richard Boone
LIZZIE (1957). Director: Hugo Haas.

Elizabeth (Eleanor Parker of Home for the Holidays) is a timid soul who works in a museum and receives threatening notes from someone named "Lizzie." Then Elizabeth begins hitting the bars at night, wearing sexy clothing and make-up, and affecting a lascivious attitude. A helpful neighbor, Walter (Haas), who is friends with Elizabeth's slatternly Aunt Morgan (Jane Blondell of Advance to the Rear), with whom she lives, suggests she see a psychiatrist named Neal (Richard Boone). Neal is able to determine that Elizabeth has three distinct personalities, but which one will emerge as the dominant one? I'm not certain how Eleanor Parker wound up in this B movie knock-off of The Three Faces of Eve (also released in 1957), but she gives a good performance, and the rest of the cast are all solid. Lizzie equates sexuality with "evil" in some ways, and Parker's least convincing moments are when she turns into a nostril-flaring decadent "Lizzie," eschewing a less subtle way of making each personality distinct. But it works for this movie, which is professionally done but kind of cheap and depressing. Marion Ross and John Reach each make an impression as, respectively, Elizabeth's co-worker and a man she dates as Lizzie. Johnny Mathis also makes an impression playing a pianist/singer in a saloon; he has no dialogue. As an actor, Haas also appeared in Summer Storm and others.

Verdict: Entertaining enough but lurid and unpleasant. **1/2.

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