HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
   
 
Newest Articles
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
   
 
  Dark Mirror, The Reflections Of Fear
Year: 1946
Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell, Richard Long, Charles Evans, Garry Owen, Lela Bliss, Lester Allen
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Doctor Peralta has been found murdered, and Lieutenant Stevenson (Thomas Mitchell) is on the case to work out who the culprit is, but he soon hits a snag. There was a woman seen with the victim just before he died, and the witnesses were able to offer an excellent description, with the suspect being Terry Collins (Olivia de Havilland) who worked at the newsagents where Peralta's offices were. When Stevenson confronts her, she faints dead away, but recovers enough to go home where he follows, keen to interview her. This is where the snag enters into the investigation...

Which is Terry has a twin, Ruth, also played by de Havilland, and neither of them will admit which one of them was with the victim that fateful night. So begins one of the most contrived film noirs of the forties, which featured a depiction of both police work and psychiatry that were utterly laughable - but that was why it was so enjoyable to watch. The Dark Mirror was directed by a past master of the noir technique, Robert Siodmak, and the script was penned by producer Nunnally Johnson, one of the most caustic wits in Hollywood and also responsible for some of its biggest hits of his day, making him the highest paid screenwriter at the time.

Accompany that with a performance, two in fact, by de Havilland where she got to show off her range as both the good twin and the evil twin, and you had purest hokum which carried with it an old time movie entertainment value no matter how ridiculous it came across, both then and now. Olivia had a field day as one of her usual nice girls contrasting with a rare chance to play the bad girl, but deftly keeping us guessing as to which was which - for a while at least, for when we had to distinguish their true identities she was just as effective at putting that across as well. Trick photography was implemented to put both Collins in the same frame, and a double filmed from behind but dressed identically was useful for sustaining the illusion, so much so that you didn't notice it once you were caught up in the plot.

This being the forties and a thriller, everyone was obviously eager to put the then-fashionable psychoanalysis to good use, so to work out who was the actual murderer in this case - for some movie contrivance reason neither is allowed to be arrested, leaving any resolution up in the air - Stevenson encourages a psychiatrist to become involved. He is Dr Scott Elliott, played by a famous screen medical man Lew Ayres who had been such a success as the noble Dr Kildare in the film series. Here he was evidently none too bothered about ethics as once he gets to know Ruth he fancies a romantic entanglement, though you could excuse this because he hadn't officially adopted her as a patient, and besides he was also examining Terry.

One of them is far more devious than the other, even to the extent of trying to drive her sister mad by pretending she's suffering hallucinations and therefore having her believe she could have carried out the killing when she was actually innocent. In the psychiatrist's chair, a series of clich├ęs see to it that both ladies are put through the Rorshach test of ink blots, a word association game, and most egregiously of all a lie detector - even back then that last was open to so much doubt that it was next to useless. Not to Hollywood, of course, and the way we see the needle jump when the crazy sister gets to talking makes up our minds that she's the one we need to watch out for. Naturally, the more straight-faced in its absurdity this gets, the more fun it is, and while Ayres is his dependable self even with his character's lapses - he looks like a lounge lizard here - and Mitchell is amusingly baffled as to how he can solve his case, it was Olivia's movie, the benchmark for all twin performances in thrillers. Music by Dimitri Tiomkin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1864 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: