When a famous doctor kills his adulterous wife, he is defended by his best friend, an attorney--who suspects that his own wife is having an affair.When a famous doctor kills his adulterous wife, he is defended by his best friend, an attorney--who suspects that his own wife is having an affair.When a famous doctor kills his adulterous wife, he is defended by his best friend, an attorney--who suspects that his own wife is having an affair.
*** (out of 4)
An attorney (Frank Morgan) defends his best friend (Paul Lukas) accused of killing his wife (Gloria Stuart) after learning she's having an affair. The attorney soon discovers that his own wife (Nancy Carroll) is having an affair so the trial because a learning process so that he can discover whether or not he could get away with murder. Fans of the director will certainly want to check this film out as it features some of his typical comedy as well as stylish director. The film is a rather dark one about madness and this comes through with the performances. Some might call the performance of Lukas over the top but I see it as pure madness. The scene where he goes over what he has done before breaking down has a nice intensity to it. Several other scenes also have this including the final courtroom scenes as well as the opening murder. The opening murder sequence is brilliantly filmed by the director who makes this one of his most stylish scenes. The way the camera captures everything in a couple rooms then cuts to the outside looking in was very well handled. Whale also mixes in some black comedy with most of it coming from an unmarried woman working with the defense who makes several jokes about women being killed. Morgan and Carroll are both very good as is Stuart in her small role. Walter Pidgeon and Donald Cook play the lovers in the film. Fans of Whale's FRANKENSTEIN will also be very interested in watching this because this film uses the same sets as the horror classic. It's was rather funny seeing the jail cell being the same place that the monster was tied up. The village is the same and several sets take place inside Frankenstein's castle. Ted Billings, a bit player in FRANKENSTEIN and THE INVISIBLE MAN, appears here briefly. Whale would remake this five years later in WIVES UNDER SUSPICION.
- Jun 6, 2009