Thursday, 30 December 2010

A Stolen Life (1946)

Glenn Ford! How DARE you cheat on Bette with Bette?! In this film, Bette Davis plays New England twins (!) Kate and Pat Bosworth. I was thrilled when I got this film for Christmas as I've been looking for it in England for ages and haven't been able to find it! It was well worth the look, and it is seriously cool to see:
  1. Bette Davis opposite Glenn Ford
  2. Bette Davis play twins on screen at the same time
  3. And see Bette Davis' first and last producing venture.

Before I review, lets get this clear. Glamorous evil twin = Pat. Lovely painter twin = Kate.

A Stolen Life
Cast:
Plot:
New England painter Kate Bosworth is on her way home to her family house on the island where her sister and cousin live. She misses the last ferry across to the island and hitches a ride with handsome lighthouse technician, Bill Emerson. She asks to paint the old lighthouse keeper so she can be near to Bill, and they start a relationship.
Kate tries desperately to keep him out of the reach of her attractive and glamorous sister Patricia, but one day when Bill is waiting on the pier for Kate, the inevitable happens. Bill mistakes Patricia for Kate, and Pat makes no attempt to correct the situation. In fact, she more than goes along with it, and after lunch Bill declares, "You know Katie (this is actually Pat at the moment), yesterday you were... You were... Let me explain it like this. Yesterday you were a cake without any frosting. And lots of men like the frosting." Finishing his train of thought Pat adds, "So today you think I have the frosting?" They are about to embrace when Kate comes by the gates and says, "So I see you did keep our luncheon date."
In time, after some two timing from Bill, Pat gets married to him. Katie does more painting to take her mind off it, she even lets a young man paint in her studio in her new house in Boston. But one day she goes to the island and is surprised to see pat who should be in Chile with Bill. Pat says it was because she had an awful cold. They go sailing one day, as Pat has taken it up, but they hit a squall and the mainsail of their dinghy rips and they tip all over the place (as a dinghy sailor this is my worst nightmare, AND THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE LIFE-JACKETS! *hyperventilates*). Unable to steer with the wind, they hit rocks and Pat is knocked out of the boat. In a desperate attempt to save her, Kate grips onto her hands but Pat is pulled away by the waves. When Pat slips out of her grasp Kate finds Pat's wedding ring in her hand just before collapsing back onto the floor of the boat.
The lighthouse keeper has seen the accident and goes out to rescue the surviving twin. Assuming Kate is Pat, he calls Bill to come and sort out the incident as if it was Kate who had died. When Kate first comes to and realises the situation, she takes it as a bonus that she will now have the life she wants, the husband she wants and the glamorous look she always envied. But soon after, she realises that Pat and Bill's marriage is about to come to an end with Bill about to file for divorce. It also seems that Pat had had numerous affairs during their marriage which she has to straighten out. With no one knowing the secret of her true identity except her trustworthy cousin (who guessed), she has to try and live a lie to survive...

The Review:
Bette Davis is lovely as Kate, hideous and pompous as Pat, and nervous and tentative as Kate pretending to be Pat. Glenn Ford is ok - he serves his purpose well and doesn't try to steal the show from Miss Davis (such an act would be impossible for an actor of his stature, and since she was also producer, could prove catastrophic for his career), and he has lovely hair, which I understand caused a lot of upset with the makeup department. Davis, however, didn't like producing very much and stated:
"I was no more allowed to be a producer than the man on the moon. As star in a dual role, I simply meddled as usual. If that was producing I'd been a mogul for years."
Nevertheless, the way they get Bette on as both twins at the same time is genius, and must have been very technically trying in 1946. A riveting watch.

Sorry I haven't posted since Christmas, I've been quite busy with film watching and recuperating after a long school term. Now the two language homework projects I have been postponing have caught up with me as I am going on a little three day trip to the seaside from Sunday to the end of the holiday, so I better start working on them soon. Before I go, I just have to say that I went shopping yesterday and I went into Hollister (sister shop of Abercrombie and Fitch, retro clothing) to buy a jumper and a pair of trackies and I have never been more traumatized in my life. They made the shop look like a beach hut and then painted everything dark brown with a few yellow pointed lights. This alone is enough to give you a migraine, but then once we had selected our items, they made us go all around the shop to get to the queue (cleverly they make you see everything before checking out). So yeah, there's my rant. Hopefully the things I bought will last forever and I won't have to go back in, or at least not until they redecorate!

~Bette

1 comments:

Juanita's Journal said...

Glenn Ford is ok - he serves his purpose well and doesn't try to steal the show from Miss Davis (such an act would be impossible for an actor of his stature, and since she was also producer, could prove catastrophic for his career), and he has lovely hair, which I understand caused a lot of upset with the makeup department.


I don't know about you, but I have never considered Glenn Ford as some mediocre actor.

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~Bette