Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)

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Cast a Dark Shadow (1955) Poster

Clever fortune-hunter Edward Bare (Sir Dirk Bogarde), with a penchant for murder, does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife, and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results... See full summary »


7.1/10
1,136

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  • Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)
  • Dirk Bogarde and Margaret Lockwood in Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)
  • Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)
  • Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)
  • Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)
  • Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)

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User Reviews


4 January 2010 | dougdoepke
Unusually Cynical
Margaret Lockwood is so good as the hardened widow Mrs. Jeffries, it's almost scary. Those initial encounters between her and Bare (Bogarde) are like two sharks searching for a soft spot. Seldom has a courtship been more cynically reduced to a conjugation of bank balances than in this bleak little exercise. I love that tacky seaside club where they first meet with its empty tables and off-key musicians that reeks of faded gentility. Bogarde is all oily charm and greed, while Lockwood has seen it all, yet somewhere still wants to believe. Their prickly coupling is to marriage what he Hitler-Stalin pact was to peace treaties. Certainly, no one can accuse the writers of loading up with sympathetic characters. In fact, only the pathetic housekeeper Emmie invites empathy—Kathleen Harrison in a slyly bravura performance.

In my book, the movie's an excellent little thriller up to the point where the screenplay has Bogarde go bonkers. To that point, he's been all cold calculation and self-possession, an impressive study in ruthless boyish charm. However, by suddenly collapsing that cold confidence into a blubbering psychotic, the screenplay undercuts both the character menace and the dramatic tension. I'm just wondering whether some watchdog group insisted that the character be exposed as a weakling in order to undercut Bogarde's appeal as a villain. However that may be, the movie remains an atmospheric, well-mounted little thriller, unusually well acted.

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