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A Stolen Life

104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Classic film fans rejoice: A Stolen Life stars two Bette Davises in one grand, heart-wrenching melodrama. The iconic actress portrays twin sisters Kate and Pat: the first good and the other, if not exactly evil, a vain vixen who's landed the husband (Glenn Ford) Kate wanted. One fateful day a storm comes up while the sisters are boating, Pat drowns and Kate grabs her chance to steal her sister's identity - and husband.
Instead of using makeup or hair tricks to differentiate the twins, Davis relies on something much more effective: acting talent. And viewers will note she actually plays three roles: Kate, Pat and Kate pretending to be Pat. It's a dazzling balancing act - and Davis puts every step exactly right.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bette Davis, Glen Ford, Dane Clark, Walter Brennan, Charlie Ruggles
  • Directors: Curtis Bernhardt
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 2010
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00466JALY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,070 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Betty Davis fans get their money's worth with this film in which she plays a set of identical twins, Kate and Pat Bosworth. Kate is the country mouse ,and Pat is the city mouse. Ms. Davis does a yeoman's job infusing each of the twins with her own personality, so as to make them two entirely distinct persons. Kate, the demure and sensitive artist, falls for Bill Emerson, a lighthouse keeper, played by a young Glenn Ford, while Pat, an amoral man hungry predator, thinks nothing of stealing Bill right out from under her sister's nose.
Pat and Bill end up getting married, because as Bill puts it, Kate is like a cake without the frosting, while Pat makes him think that the cake is fully frosted. Little does Bill know what is in store for him. Trust me, his sweet tooth quickly begins to decay and pain him. Both Bill and Kate end up miserable once Pat and Bill are married, as Pat proceeds to have a series of affairs.
One day, while the twins are out boating, they are caught in a severe storm. When Pat is washed overboard, Kate is knocked unconscious but remains in the boat and is rescued. Upon awakening, she realizes that she has been mistaken for the now dead Pat and decides to continue the charade, as she believes that it is her only chance for happiness with Bill. She soon realizes all is not what it seemed, and she comes to a crossroad in her life, as does Bill.
While the ending of the story is somewhat implausible, it is very Hollywood and wraps the film up into one neat and tidy ending. Notwithstanding this, it is still an entertaining melodrama and a must see by Bette Davis fans, as well as lovers of classic films.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Scott A. Humphries on March 7, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I love Bette Davis, who could turn even the most dull films into pure excitement with her pure energy. This luckily is not a dull film.
Bette plays twin sisters, one good the other bad (isn't that always the case with these things?) The bad one steals the good one's lover, and the good one rather uncharacteristically steals the bad one's life when she is killed in an exciting boating accident.
The photogrpahy is excellent, there being only a few scenes where it is obvious one of the two Bettes is on a rear projection. The story starts slowly but really takes off after a while. One wonders just how it is she is going to get out of this mess when she discovers her sister's life was not all it had seemed.
This is also a fascinating film from a feminist perspective. At first I thought it was all very racy and immoral, what with the heroine allowing her family to think she is dead and then impersonating her sister, and all that extra-marital sex going on. Then I realised that in fact it is a very moral film: the good sister is sexually repressed, yearns for a man who dumped her for her raunchier sister, and allows herself to be insulted by a deadbeat painter. The bad sister by contrast is sexually liberated and is punished with divorce and death.
It's all highly enjoyable fare.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rosella Ann Myles on August 24, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is truly, one of Bette Davis' best films. She really shines in it. They certainly don't make them like this anymore. She does a good job playing a double role as Katie, and her sister Pat. It's a story, that really keeps your interest. I really like the New England setting in this film. It takes place in a little town near the ocean in Maine I highly recommend this. This is a kepper!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This one features Bette Davis at her devious, overwrought best.
If you've ever seen Carol Burnett's parody, "A Swiped Life", you will have a hard time keeping a straight face through the real thing.
"A Stolen Life" is great fun, especially if you're in the right mood.
No one is more watchable than Bette, and I think this is one of her best.
She is wonderfully entertaining in the role(s) of twins, while those around her, particularly the men, react with appropriate bewilderment.When the character Bill marvels that "I can't tell you apart",I want to shout, "That's because they're the SAME PERSON, moron!"
This movie is not exactly subtle. The old standards are present: the crusty old salt with a heart of gold under the gruff exterior, the sensitive loner who needs only to meet the woman who understands him, and the misunderstood, non-conforming artist who tries to "awaken" inhibited Kate but mercifully stops short of telling her that she's beautiful when she's angry.
It all amounts to a lot of fun, though.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By James L. on January 4, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Bette Davis stars as twins after the same man. There's Good Bette, a sensitive, reserved artist, and there's Bad Bette, a socialite apparently without morals. Glenn Ford is the man who finds himself between them. He opts for Bad Bette, leaving Good Bette heartbroken and deflated, willing to accept berating from a rough artist, Dane Clark. However, she gets another chance, following a boating accident in which Bad Bette drowns, and people accidently assume it was Good Bette. She has the opportunity to take her sister's life and get back the man she wanted ... if she can pull it off. Like the twins, there are good and bad points to the film. On the good side, you have Davis and the effects. She does a very good job with two characterizations here, even when one is pretending to be the other. The special effects to create the illusion of twins are surprisingly good for 1946. It's not the usual split-screen work you would expect, but more complicated set-ups where they pass things to each other and appear to be touching. On the bad side would be the story and Ford. The story starts promisingly, but begins to fall apart after Ford chooses Bad Bette. The Dane Clark character is irrelevant to the film, since he does not figure into the resolution. The resolution is also very weak, neatly wrapping up a situation that is far too complicated to be so easily solved. Glenn Ford comes across very weakly here, a combination of a badly drawn character and poor performance. Davis and the special effects help to salvage the film. Too bad the script lets them down.
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