A Double Life
A DOUBLE LIFE. 1947

Director: George Cukor

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



[SPOILERS]

Double Life Ronald Coleman, who got the Best Actor Oscar & Best Actor Golden Globe for this performance, stars in a borderline film noir, A Double Life (1947).

He gives an intriguingly pompous performance in a melodrama that starts out being about the insecurities vs. egotism of a Broadway actor, & slowly, startlingly turns into a tale of a psycho killer.

Anthony John (Coleman) is an actor who tries to adhere to light plays & comedies because of his tendency to lose himself in his roles. If he plays someone unpleasant, he becomes unpleasant in his off-stage life. Chastised for not living up to his potential as a great actor, he finally relents & agrees to play Othello, opposite his ex-wife (Signe Hasso) as the victim of Othello's blind jealousy.

Coleman's acting grows out of a center of classy artifice that makes him particularly disturbing when he goes from his purely Colemanesque actorly character to Ripperesque stalker. Curiously, he's more awkward in scenes when he has to pass as a Shakespearean actor than in scenes when he has to pass as a schizoid, despite that the latter is so unique to his ouvre.

The conviction of his Double Life is assisted by fine support performances from Shelley Winters as the waitress/tart & Edmond O'Brian as Anthony's ex's new beau. Not a great film, but certainly a good one.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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