DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

DEAD RINGER (director: Paul Henreid; screenwriters: story "La Otra" by Rian James/Albert Beich/Oscar Millard; cinematographer: Ernest Haller; editor: Folmar Blangsted; music: Andre Previn; cast: Bette Davis ( Edith/Margaret), Karl Malden (Sgt. Jim Hobbson), George Macready (Paul Harrison), Peter Lawford (Tony Collins), Philip Carey (Sgt. Ben Hoag), Jean Hagen (Dede), Estelle Winwood (Dona Anna. Matriarch), George Chandler (George); Runtime: 115; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: William H. Wright; Warner Bros.; 1964)

"Bette Davis passionately plays evil twins in this very good Hitchcock-like noir thriller directed by Casablanca actor Paul Henreid."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Bette Davis passionately plays evil twins in this very good Hitchcock-like noir thriller directed by Casablanca actor Paul Henreid ("Girls on the Loose"/"Ballad in Blue"/"A Woman' Devotion"), who co-starred with Ms. Davis in Now, Voyager (1942). It's based on the story "La Otra" by Rian James, and is written by Albert Beich and Oscar Millard.

A distraught Edith Philips, after separated from her twin sister Margaret de Lorca (both sisters are played by Bette Davis) for 18 years, meets her sister again at her husband's L. A. funeral. Edith also loved her husband. When she learns her wealthy sister tricked him into marriage, in a fit of anger she shoots her sister and makes it look like Edith committed suicide as she puts her own name to a suicide note. The masquerade works with everyone but her twin's secret lover Tony Collins (Peter Lawford), who blackmails her. Edith figures it out that her sister and lover schemed together to kill her husband. When Edith confronts Tony, a fight ensues and the family's Great Dane kills Tony. The police now become suspicious of the husband's death and when they exhume the body for an autopsy discover the cause of death is arsenic. Thereby Edith is arrested for his murder. Realizing she might get the gas chamber, Edith tells her former policeman suitor Sgt. Jim Hobbson (Karl Malden) that she's Edith not Margaret. But he refuses to believe her. As a result she's given the death sentence.

REVIEWED ON 1/30/2015       GRADE: B+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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