The Two Mrs. Carrolls 1947-03-04 ( current )

6.5 /10
22 Reviews

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Struggling artist Geoffrey Carroll meets Sally while on holiday in the country. A romance develops, but he doesn't tell her he's already married. Suffering from mental illness, Geoffrey returns home where he paints an impression of his wife as the angel of death and then promptly poisons her. He marries Sally but after a while he finds a strange urge to paint her as the angel of death too and history seems about to repeat itself.

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The Two Mrs. Carrolls User reviews

JOHN CHARD

The Angels of Death. The Two Mrs. Carrolls is directed by Peter Godfrey and adapted to the screen by Thomas Job from the Martin Vale play. It stars Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Alexis Smith, Nigel Bruce, Ann Carter and Patrick O’Moore. Music is by Franz Waxman and cinematography by Peverell Marley. Completed in 1945 but not released till 1947, The Two Mrs. Carrolls is one of those films that has an abundance of stories to match the abundance of divisive reviews. Various biographers and cinema writers tell a different story about stuff like what Bogart and Stanwyck thought of the movie, why they did it and so on. It’s now hard to know exactly what the truth is anymore! So what about the film on its own terms then? Undeniably the critics of the time were right to point out the similarity of The Two Mrs. Carrolls to such fine movies of the time like Gaslight, Suspicion and Rebecca, in fact the delayed release is thought to be because of Gaslight’s success in 1944, while there’s even a slice of Dorian Gray about it as well. Having these massively popular films as benchmarks has kind of crippled “Carrolls” reputation, because quite frankly it’s not close to being in the same league. However, if one can judge it on its own terms, this is very good Gothic thriller entertainment. Plot is essentially Sally Morton Carroll (Stanwyck) as a newly wedded wife who comes to realise her husband, Geoffrey (Bogart), is not the charming loving man she thought he was. He’s the tortured artist type, who needs his muse to be kinked to produce his best work, thus the thriller conventions do proceed as Sally unearths dark truths and becomes a woman in peril. Various colourful characters are added to the mix; Smith’s head turning sex bomb, Bruce’s alcoholic doctor, Moore’s lovelorn ex boyfriend and Carter’s sprightly young daughter. The Carroll house is filled with many Gothic textures, marking it out as place ripe for dark deeds and the unfurling of sinister secrets. Godfrey, though guilty of letting the pace sag all too often, does insert some great mood accentuating scenes. Episodes with the fearsome paintings strike a chilly chord, a raging storm unloading as the curtains billow has the requisite haunting feel, and Geoffrey finally going over the edge produces a superb crash – bang – wallop scene. Marley’s photography is suitably shadowy via lighting techniques, and Waxman provides a typically genre compliant musical score. On the acting front there’s not a great deal to write home about, Stanwyck isn’t stretched beyond being just professional, and as committed as Bogart is, he’s an odd choice for this type of role. Bruce is typecast as another Dr. Watson character, while Smith is badly underused. The latter a shame as she leaves a favourable mark slinking about like a leopard, in fact it’s probably no coincidence that she shows up late in the film wearing a leopard skin scarf! All told it’s a little draggy in places and often shows its stage origins, but when it hits Gothic stride it’s worthy of viewing investment. And yes, even if Bogart doing Bluebeard isn’t the right fit. 7/10

Cast:
  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Barbara Stanwyck
  • Alexis Smith
  • Nigel Bruce
  • Isobel Elsom
Crew:
  • Peter Godfrey (Director)
  • Thomas Job (Screenplay)
  • Martin Vale (Theatre Play)
  • Mark Hellinger (Producer)
  • Jack Warner (Executive Producer)
Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures

Country:

United States of America

Genres:

Mystery

Release Date:

1947-03-04 USA

Run Time:

99 min

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