Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4th Log

1953, Ida Lupino, United States

1st Viewing, DVD

I can’t figure out my feelings toward you. I despise you and I pity you. I don’t even want to shake your hand, and yet I almost wish you luck.” This moment of dialogue comes toward the end of the film and it is very much the feeling the viewer has towards the films main character (Harry Graham, played by Edmond O’Brien). As the title suggests, he is a bigamist- secretly married to two separate women. The film is directed by actress turned director Ida Lupino, who also plays the woman Harry meets on a lonely business trip in Los Angeles. Lupino was a terrific actress and an equally talented director, but she was at her best when working with her own scripts. Here the script is flawed and looses it’s dramatic force in the closing court sequence (which seems to overly emphasize what the film is about, and more specifically that bigamy exists). Most of the film is involving, as it’s does treat Harry with empathy, telling the story through his side (via flashbacks). Overall the film is heavy without ever really packing the passionate emotional punch that define Lupino as both an actress and a director. After The Bigamist Lupino moved into directing television before returning to feature filmmaking one last time in 1966 with The Trouble With Angels.


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