While away on business, Harry Graham (Edmond O'Brien) hops a Hollywood tour bus. Sitting next to him is a tough-talking waitress, Phyllis Martin (Ida Lupino). He lights her cigarette and, a few more trips to Los Angeles later, Harry and Phyllis are wed. Back home in San Francisco, he and his wife, Eve (Joan Fontaine), are trying to adopt a child. Harry noticeably hesitates before signing a release granting the adoption agency permission to investigate their lives. The head of the agency, Mr. Jordan, senses that there is something amiss and decides to dig deeper Harry is torn by his love and his desire to protect both women. Eve, though aloof, gives him a decent life. Phyllis, hardened by past disappointments, needs his love. Harry's situation becomes desperate as he tries to maintain his double life under the weight of Mr. Jordan's endless probing.
Tough but sensitive Edmond O'Brien appeared in such film noir classics as The Killer (1946), D.O.A. (1949), White Heat (1949), The Hitchhiker (1953), A Cry In The Night (1956) and many others. Filmmaker/actress (and sometimes writer and producer) Ida Lupino became famous after her appearance in High Sierra (1941). She was the most renowned female director of her time with a series of films that frequently explored subjects considered socially taboo. Joan Fontaine is fondly remembered for her Academy Award winning performance in Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion (1941).
A salesman marries a wealthy woman from a blue-blooded L.A. family (Fontaine) and a street-smart waitress in a San Francisco Chinese restaurant. Driven to this agonizing extreme more by his big heart than lust, the bigamist strains to keep his double life a secret from the women he truly loves. Curiously non-judgmental, particularly as it's directed by a woman, Lupino (it's also the only production in which she directed herself).
Love Triangle |
In curious behind-the-scenes parallel to the torrid topic of this film, producer and writer Collier Young had just divorced director Ida Lupino and married... Joan Fontaine!
Movie Lover: dac from
Cambridge, OH US -- November, 12, 2007
Interesting story of man who gives in to his weaknesses and thereby hurts all involved. Edmond O'Brien gives an intelligent performance as the bigamist. Nice to see scenes of 1950's LA, especially the bus tour where one of the homes pointed out belongs to a member of the cast!
Movie Lover: Christopher Anderson from
Philadelphia -- March, 27, 2005
Compelling and realistic story of a man who falls in love with another woman, makes a foolish decision with good intentions and winds up destroying himself. Edmond O'Brian is outstanding as are the rest of the cast.
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