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Bedelia, a newly remarried beautiful widow, is on honeymoon in Monte Carlo. A painter approaches her inquiring about her past. When she and her husband go back to England the artist will soon be there. Danger, crime and truth will follow.
Barry K. Barnes
Francis Lederer is a successful painter who uses Linda Stirling as a model, but only her body, the face is that of a model from a previous life in France. That model ended up murdered, but Lederer was cleared all of charges, and he moved to the US with his mother. After Stirling begs him to paint her face too, he does. And she ends up murdered as well, in a similar fashion as the French model. Theater columnist Edward Ashley knows about Lederer's past and points the police to him, but they can't make a case. Stirling's sister Ann Rutherford tries to investigate and becomes a model for Lederer herself. Meanwhile a portrait hanging in a gallery has attracted the attention of wealthy socialite Gail Patrick. But when Lederer refuses to sell it to her, she gets him to paint her portrait. The murders are not yet done...
This movie is a competent Republic noir/mystery, that has a slight Gothic feel to it due to the painting angle. Lederer does a nice mentally tormented artist, and Rutherford is great, backed by a solid cast. The story is nothing too special, and neither is the identity of the killer (the suspect pool is rather shallow), but the movie isn't dull, altho it is a bit talky in parts... And it has a memorable torch singer meets knife-throwing act scene at a nightclub. That lady has nerves of steel!
The DoP for this movie was John Alton. Needless to say this movie looks the part (helped by the great looking print I saw). Beautiful shadows, coming from all angles, but also done tastefully and subtly. Director William Thiele does a nice job too, and the cast & crew make this a movie that rises above its Republic standard. Good stuff, recommended! 7/10
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