When his sister falls under the spell of her Svengali-like sadistic husband, acclaimed stage star Damon Wells decides he'll do whatever it takes to save her. What it takes is murder and what it takes to get away with murder is a perfect disguise.
When his sister falls under the sadistic spell of her Svengali-like sadistic husband, acclaimed stage star Damon Wells (Edward G. Robinson) decides he'll do whatever it takes to save her. What it takes is murder. And what it takes to get away with murder is a perfect disguise created out of greasepaint, false whiskers and a brilliant actor's skill.
Heading a top cast that includes Mary Astor, Ricardo Cortez and Louis Calhern, Robinson is marvelous wearing either of his two faces in this clever thriller based on a popular play by George S. Kaufman and Alexander Woollcott. A special treat: the surprising (and satisfying) ending, unorthodox for a movie made in the Production Code era.
THE MAN WITH TWO FACES is based on THE DARK TOWER, a stage comedy-mystery by Alexander Woollcott and George S. Kaufman. Edward G. Robinson is at his hammy best as flamboyant, temperamental, but withal endearing theatrical actor-manager Dawson Wells. Mary Astor co-stars as Damon's beloved actress sister Jessica, making a stage comeback after a disastrously unhappy marriage. Alas, Jessica's caddish husband Stanley Vance (Louis Calhern) soon returns, exerting a Svengali-like hold on the poor girl and setting her back on the road to ruin. Unable to buy off Vance, Wells plots a clever revenge, and shortly afterward, Vance is visited by one Monsieur Chautard, an effusive European producer with murder on his mind. The central "gimmick" in MAN WITH TWO FACES, which was adroitly concealed in the original DARK TOWER, is a bit more obvious on screen due to the dynamic personalities involved. Also, the play's ending, in which Vance's murderer is allowed to escape scot-free by a sympathetic detective, was obviously altered at the very last minute to appease the new Production Code.
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