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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: Bette Davis Is a Dead Ringer for... Bette Davis!

Bette Davis basically reprises her role in A Stolen Life (1946) in Dead Ringer (made 20 years later), though with more macabre touches. And, instead of Glenn Ford as a love interest, she gets Karl Malden. Oh, well!

When sisters are two of a kind (yes, Bette plays identical twins), mayhem and murder occur. Bette assays both roles, of course -- the desperate poor sister and the haughty, rich one (because she married well) -- very convincingly. I'd love to see Glenn Close give a remake a go!

This '64 melodrama was directed by Paul Henreid, Bette's co-star in Now, Voyager. He has a firm hand on this film, giving it a classic Hollywood feel.

Bette has many fabulous moments, especially when pretending she's her sister. You can lose your mind when Bette is two of a kind. The film employs the same split-screen f/x techniques as on the Patty Duke Show. What a crazy pair here!

Davis receives much support from veteran stars like Estelle Winwood and Jean Hagen. She gets romanced by gigolo Peter Lawford. Not bad for her age.

Highlights include Bette intentionally burning her hand on a red-hot poker from the fireplace and letting out the smokey howl of a sea hag, and her attempts to cover up her nefarious doings that, naturally, botch things up at times.

Overall, great fun, perfect for the Halloween season. Available on dvd and download.

1 comment:

  1. The commentary track on the DEAD RINGER DVD is by Charles Busch and Boze Hadleigh. You couldn't ask for a dishier set of hosts, who know exactly what kind of movie this is!