A Double Life (1947)

George Cukor may have been replaced as the director of Gone with the Wind, but he went on to direct some of Hollywood’s most famous films: GaslightAdam’s Rib, the 1954 version of A Star Is Born and My Fair Lady. Here, he tells the story of Anthony John, a celebrated stage actor who is the ultimate Method actor, fully taking on the role of whomever he plays.

Ronald Coleman, who is the lead in this, is literally the actor’s actor. He won both the Academy Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for this movie and was the very right people to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (the others are Olive Borden, Louise Fazenda, Preston Foster, Burt Lancaster, Joanne Woodward, Edward Sedgwick and Ernest Torrence). Interestingly, Ruth Gordon got the first of her three Oscar nominations for writing with this movie. She also won the Oscar for acting with Rosemary’s Baby.

For Tony, the worst possible role would be playing Othello. But that’s exactly what happens and all hell literally breaks loose. This movie portrays the difference between the rich world of the theater and the squalor of the world surrounding it — especially the apartment of Shelley Winters’ Pat Kroll. It also calls out the fact that actors must experience and live all of the emotions that make up their roles and somehow not be damaged by them.

Film noir isn’t always detectives and evil women. Sometimes it can take place inside the mind, where darkness and duplicity may run rampant.

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