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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Two Mrs. Carrolls [Remaster]
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2002
Format: 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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2002
Format: 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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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2001
Format: 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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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This Hollywood film starring Humphrey Bogart and Barbara Stanwyk was filmed in 1945 but Warners had such little faith in it that it delayed it's release for 2 years. They were probably bewildered at the way director Peter Godfrey used it's two stars since both actors give quiet performances which seem to go against their images. Based on what I presume to be an English play by Marvin Vale, the film is set near London and casts Bogart as an unstable artist who marries Stanwyck to make her the second Mrs Carroll after murdering the first. Bogart's artist predates his paranoid Fred C Dobbs of Treasure of Sierra Madre and his rudeness is funny. Stanwyck gets one shot worth the price of purchase alone. Ascending a staircase, realising Bogart's betrayal with the hourglass-figured Alexis Smith, her acting supported by the expressionist camera angle, her heavy gown and the music of Franz Waxman. The film features a delicious tea party where insults fly and eyes roll. Smith says she is "guarding her diet" and her mother replies "You've practically got a death watch on it". Godfrey gives us a murder without any music and lots of ringing bells to drive Bogart to distraction.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I'd heard this wasn't too great of a movie, so when I sat down to watch it recently (being bored and confined to my room with a cold), I was prepared to be repulsed or become even more bored. Instead, I was spellbound! Barbara Stanwyck's marvelous acting is truly a joy to behold, not to mention the performance of Humphrey Bogart. I'm not a Bogie fan, so it was quite a pleasant surprise to watch his portrayal of a--well, a madman, really. I encourage you to check this video out... the ending is wickedly clever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This has a surprise or two in it to keep you on the edge of your seat.
I think you'll enjoy this old film.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2005
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
Humphrey Bogart and Barbara Stanwyck play interestingly against type as psychologically troubled artist Gerry Carroll and his fragile second wife, Sally. The problem isn't the acting or (in my opinion) the casting, but the clunky script. In the opening scene, Sally accidentally learns that new flame Gerry is married when (*clears throat for comic effect*) a letter to "Mrs. Carroll" falls out of his pocket. Swearing to never see Gerry again, Sally runs off into the rain, only to turn up married to Gerry three scenes later, after wife number one is dead. From there, the turns of plot become ever more convenient and clichéd, and yet somehow less logical at the same time. The script both swills in extraneous information and leaves too much unexplained, and the film overall is like a clothesline, with the plot points hung on awkwardly at predictable intervals.

But if there were ever two stars that could save bad material, it was Bogart and Stanwyck. Bogie made the choppy, incoherent character Gerry come out to more than the sum of his parts. And Stany, rest her soul, did her best in everything, from Preston Sturges literary tour de force *The Lady Eve* to the string of nickel westerns she did in the '50s. This pairing deserved a better vehicle, but it's fun to watch even so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Yet another wonderful Humphrey Bogart film. He's not Rick Blaine or Phillip Marlowe in this film. He's wonderful and a little scary. I adore this movie. Barbara Stanwyck is as always wonderful. An under-rated movie!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2013
Format: DVD
A must see for fans of Stanwyck and Bogart. Bogey has a line in the movie "I have a feeling this is going to be the begining of a beautiful hatred". You won't have a hatred for this movie.
I hate to use words like atmospheric, and spookey but they fit so well. Some think Bogey was miscast in this movie, but I love him in it. There's one scene when he makes an unexpected entrance that made me jump in my seat. Psychological thriller that will scare you, but won't make you have nightmares like the grotesque, twisted "thrillers" of today.
The daughter played by Ann Carter steals the show. Ann was known as the Veronica Lake look-a-like, even playing her daughter in a movie. Dear Ann contracted polio in her teens and it pretty much ended her movie career. My husband and I think she would have became a very well known actress if this tragedy had not struck. So, if only to see this lovely child in her best movie role, watch it. Well worth the money.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
BEWARE! If you are a quick shopper looking for certain DVD titles and low-priced values, you may very well miss the line farther down the page saying this is a DVD-R on demand!

The prices realized for one-off copies of movies is idiotic, and DVD-Rs are more easily damaged than pressed DVDs.

Additionally, none of the "Warner Night at the Movies" bonus features are on this disc! Pay more--get less.

BUYER BEWARE!
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