A Double Life | Chicago Reader

A Double Life

George Cukor's work took an unexpected turn into darkness during the 40s. This film, with Ronald Colman as a Broadway star who succumbs to fits of Shakespearean jealousy while playing Othello, is perhaps the best of the period; it's a reversal of the role-playing theme that Cukor developed during the 30s, in which a fluid, diffuse personality leads not to happiness and liberation (cf Holiday) but to madness and despair. The screenplay, by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, contains shuddering insights into the psychology of the actor, and Cukor has obtained a multilayered performance from Colman to match the complexity of the conception. Though the plot line tends toward a facile parallelism, Cukor keeps the film dense and vivid through strong imagery and behavioral detail. With Shelley Winters and Signe Hasso (1947).

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