A DOUBLE LIFE (1947) B/W 104m dir: George Cukor

w/Ronald Colman, Signe Hasso, Edmond O'Brien, Shelley Winters, Ray Collins, Philip Loeb, Millard Mitchell, Joe Sawyer, Charles La Torre, Whit Bissell

From The Movie Guide: "A fine film overall, if a wee bit pretentious, A DOUBLE LIFE explores the schizoid personality of a gifted stage actor whose despair and murderous moods come during his portrayal of Othello. Colman is a much-respected gentleman actor who specializes in classical drama. His courtly manners and winning charm endear him to one and all, including his ex-wife, Hasso, who loves him but fears that his cruel streak will once again take over his otherwise stable personality. Winters, a buxom, steamy waitress, is attracted to Colman but soon learns that he is capable of violence. ...

"Colman's performance is riveting and deservedly won him an Oscar, as well as universal applause from critics and public alike. His genteel manners and mellifluous voice set up audiences for a huge shock when Colman turns into a lethal lunatic, a transformation that is simply amazing to witness. He is a man obsessed, one who can no longer differentiate between his theatrical and everyday personalities. Colman is mesmerizing, brilliant, and even horrific in his role. [Garson] Kanin and [Ruth] Gordon's script is both literate and packed with suspense, interweaving the dialogue of classical theater and that of the street. Cukor's direction is as properly mannered and carefully constructed as the script is, and he draws the complex portrayal out of Colman with great care.

"This was Winters' first film break after stage appearances and it established her as a movie star. Harry Cohn, head of Columbia Studios, originally bought the script for A DOUBLE LIFE years earlier but later reneged, refusing to pay for it or even produce it. Kanin was so angry that he vowed never to talk to Cohn again. He would take his vengeance on a literary level, using Cohn as the role model for the brutish Broderick Crawford part in BORN YESTERDAY."

A DOUBLE LIFE won two Oscars: Best Actor (Colman) and Score (Miklos Rozsa). It was also nominated for Best Director and Original Screenplay (Gordon, Kanin).