27 June 2001 | kryck
A Well-Mounted Mystery With Fine Performances
The 1947 mystery-thriller,"The Two Mrs.Carrolls"is considered by many critics to be a tepid,unrealistic film and one of Humphrey Bogart's lesser works. This couldn't be more false. The film contains brilliant performances by Bogart and Barbara Stanwyck,a great deal of eerie suspense,and delicious bits of English humor. The plot of the film is similar to that of Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder" and "Suspicion",but has a uniqueness all it's own. It tells the story of Geoffrey Carroll(Bogart),a struggling artist who marries a wealthy woman,Sally(Stanwyck), after his supposed invalid wife dies. Life is normal for them,until Sally begins to feel ill and restless quite often.A doctor says she's suffering from nothing more than a nerve condition,and she believes that's all it is. She is, unfortunately, in for a big surprise.She learns from Geoffrey's precocious,young daughter,Bea(Ann Carter),some things about his previous wife.For starters,she was not an invalid and only got sick the last few weeks of her life.Geoffrey gave her milk at night to make her feel relaxed.This is exactly what he does for Sally.She also learns that a painting of his former wife,called "The Angel of Death",was done while she was sick. Hearing this,Sally comes to the realization that she is Geoffrey's next victim of a well-planned crime.Stanwyck has never been better as a panic-stricken wife,trying to survive her husband's evil doings.Bogart gives a highly underrated performance as a psychopath,who gets brutal when his murder plot doesn't go according to plan.His presence on screen is often frightening.The ending is wonderfully witty and comical.While not in the same league as "The Maltese Falcon"or "Key Largo",this is still a highly entertaining Bogart film,that will not disappoint. I give it a strong 8 1/2 out of 10.