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Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, it's terrible to be around him. That's the reason why his wife Brita divorced him; although she still loves him and works with him, she couldn't stand living with him anymore. So when Anthony accepts to play Othello, he devotes himself entirely to the part, but it soon overwhelms him and with each day his mind gets filled more and more with Othello's murderous jealousy.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
The "Othello" scenes were filmed separately and in the exact order in which they occur in Shakespeare's play, so as to give Ronald Colman the feeling that he was actually appearing in "Othello". Colman felt uneasy about performing Shakespeare, so director George Cukor and Shakespearean actor Walter Hampden, who acted as coach and advisor for these scenes, tried to make Colman as comfortable as possible in them. See more »
At the end of the last "Othello", Tony appears to be distracted by someone just off-stage. We know that Bill, the policeman, and the restaurant owner are standing where he is looking, but the only one he knows is Bill. He had seen the restaurant owner only once, and surely couldn't have recognized him in the dark; and he had never met the policeman. His final act implies that he knows he has been found out, but what gave him that idea? See more »
The successful middle-aged Broadway actor Anthony "Tony" John (Ronald Colman) is a dedicated lonely professional that still loves his former wife Brita (Signe Hasso). They are playing Othello for almost two years and Tony has a breakdown, beginning to lose his mind and sense of reality, confusing his identity with his characters. One night, he meets the waitress Pat Kroll (Shelley Winters) in a distant bar and he spends the night with the easy woman. Then he proposes Brita, who is his best friend, but she refuses to marry him again triggering a jealousy process against their friend Bill (Edmond O'Brien). Tony decides to visit Pat late night and in an insanity process, he lives the situation of Othello killing Desdemona. The police arrest a suspect but Bill wants to prove that Tony is responsible for the murder.
Despite the great performance of Ronald Colman, "A Double Life" is an overrated movie with a boring story. First, the situation of a successful actor that loses his identity and blends imagination with reality is hard to believe. Second, Tony's personality and character are very confused and not well-developed; last but not the least, Bill trying to prove that Tony is responsible for the murder is despicable and silly. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Fatalidade" ("Fatality")
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