The Two Mrs. Carrolls [Remaster]

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3 thoughts on “The Two Mrs. Carrolls [Remaster]

  1. 27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Once only pairing of Warners giants Bogart and Stanwyck, July 8, 2002
    By 
    Simon Davis (Melbourne, Australia) –

    This review is from: Two Mrs Carrolls [VHS] (VHS Tape)

    I’ve always been intrigued by “The Two Mrs. Carrolls” and always feel it is a far better film than how it is always judged. The film has a polished look to it and contains a suspenceful story that really keeps you on the edge of your seat, particulary in the second half.

    Certainly “The Two Mrs. Carrolls” is no “Casablanca” or “The Maltese Falcon” (but lets face it how many films like that come along in any actors career anyway?) but I feel from repeated screenings of it that it is a most interesting vechicle for Bogart in particular. He plays a character very different from his usual type of personas. I dont see that as a bad thing at all and I feel his craggy looks and dark demeanour are absolutely perfect for the role of Geoffrey Carroll, a psychotic artist who paints portraits of his wives (hence the title) as the Angel of Death and then murders them. His pairing with Barbara Stanwyck is an original and fascinating one which sadly was never repeated but I feel, also contrary to critics belief that they team very well together. Barbara also takes a different stance in this film playing a nice girl who marries Geoffrey for all the right reasons only to discover the dark truth of the man she thought she knew when it is almost too late. Barbara has a sympathetic role here and she performs to her always high standard. She was always excellent as the heroine under threat and she beautifully modulates her performance here, moving from being an inlove new bride to someone witnessing a frightening chain of events that make her fear for her own life . The tension between the two once Sally (Stanwyck) begins to realise what is going on in Geoffrey’s mind is the basis for the suspence that occurs in the story. Alexis Smith also scores (no mean task when up against Bogart and Stanwyck)in the role of the slinky and bitchy Cecily Latham who tries to come between Geoffrey and Sally. The scene at the afternoon tea in the Carroll’s garden is very funny in a sarcastic kind of way and she is perfect as the femme fatale of the story.

    The set up look of this film also adds greatly to its suspense element. The constant chiming of the towns Church Bells, the constant inclement weather through most of the second half as the tension rises, and the dark sombre house really create the right atmosphere of impending doom. Peter Godfrey directed this film and was responsible for guiding Barbara Stanwyck through some interesting and diverse roles like “Cry Wolf” and “Christmas in Connecticut” two of my personal favourites of Stanwyck’s work. While not the greatest director at Warner Bros Godfrey here directs with a sure hand and keeps the action bubbling along to the climax of the story.

    The other supporting players are also well chosen with the ever reliable Nigel Bruce playing his usual bumbling character, in this case the local doctor Dr. Tuttle who finds himself having to treat Sally for a mysterious “illness’ which in reality is Geoffrey trying to slowly poison her. Young Anne Carter really impresses in the role of Geoffrey’s strangely mature daughter Beatrice by his first wife. Patrick O’Moore is also excellent as Charles Pennington, “Penny” a former love of Sally’s who begins to suspect that all is not well in the Carroll household.

    As stated previously the last 30 minutes of the film as Sally begins to suspect Geoffrey’s motives and tries to outsmart him are the best in the whole film. It is real nail biting action as Barbara tries to outwit her husband while not letting him know she is on to him. This occurs in the midst of a violent storm once everyone else is out of the house. The scenes where Geoffrey finally loses his mind in homicidal rage and sets out to murder Sally are harrowing to witness and I feel Bogart handles this difficult piece of acting perfectly making Geoffrey a truly terrifing character.

    “The Two Mrs. Carrolls” while not a great success on release is a film worth viewing. It certainly contains good work by both stars and is among my favourite Stanwyck performances. Try watching this as a late night treat during a storm, you are guaranteed a real nail biting time indeed!

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  2. 10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    And Bogart is a Bonus, July 22, 2001
    By 
    Diana Savage (Seattle, WA USA) –

    This review is from: Two Mrs Carrolls [VHS] (VHS Tape)

    Even with out Bogart this is a glorious film. It stands on it’s own providing a wonderful atmosphere, suspenseful plot, stellar acting. Bogart is in peak form as well as a psychopathic artist. He plays the role with understated menise. His mental state isn’t drilled into you with a jackhammer but is built slowly with. While not as romantic as Casablanca it stands in my mind as one of his best.

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  3. 9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Stanwyck once again picks Mr. Wrong, April 25, 2002
    By 
    Matthew Horner (USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Two Mrs Carrolls [VHS] (VHS Tape)

    “The Two Mrs. Carrolls” may not be one of the great melodramas from 1940s Hollywood, but it is a fine example of the craftsmanship that went into studio pictures in those days. Its primary importance in film history is that this is the only pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Barbara Stanwyck. While Stanwyck is superb, Bogart, I’m afraid, acts like he is only going through the motions, perhaps because this is what would have been considered a `woman’s picture’ back then. [Compare this to his amazing performance the next year in the manly "Treasure of the Sierra Madre"]

    When the movie opens, Geoffrey Carroll [Bogart] is seen fishing with Sally [Stanwyck] in Scotland. They’ve recently met and are in love. When she accidentally discovers that he is married, she ends the affair. In despair, Geoffrey goes home to his wife and daughter in London. The story suddenly shifts forward a couple of years. We find out that the first Mrs. Carroll died, and now Geoffrey and Sally are married. They live a seemingly idyllic life in the country, until Geoffrey meets Cecily, played by a ravishingly beautiful Alexis Smith. For a time, Sally is clueless, but when questions about how Geoffrey’s first wife died, Sally finally suspects what we already know: There is something very wrong with her husband and her marriage.

    The story is somewhat absurd, but no one could play a victim, innocent or otherwise, better than Stanwyck, as she was to prove a year later in “Sorry, Wrong Number”. She alone is reason enough to see the movie.

    The cinematography by J. Perevell Marley is filled with extraordinary light and shadow. He creates a moody, chilly atmosphere. Composer Franz Waxman, who was creating a film score about every eight weeks in those days, provides some interesting music, although it is not nearly as inspired as his compositions for movies like “Sunset Boulevard” and “A Place in the Sun”. Frederick Reynolds’ editing is extremely tight for the first thirty minutes or so and is an excellent example of just how spare the art of editing can be.

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