Dead Ringer

1964

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

29
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 3680

Synopsis


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June 08, 2015 at 01:04 PM

Director

Cast

Bette Davis as Margaret DeLorca / Edith Phillips
Peter Lawford as Tony Collins
Karl Malden as Sergeant Jim Hobbson
Jean Hagen as Dede Marshall
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
819.90 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 56 min
P/S 3 / 3
1.85 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 56 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Edgar Allan Pooh 7 / 10

In this gruesome horror flick, a 56-year-old Bette Davis plays . . .

. . . a pair of 44-year-olds, looking as if all these geriatric chicks are 65 if a day. Back in the 1900s, it was a common practice in Tinseltown to have old hens portray Spring Chickens, since no one had High Definition TVs then. Despite this limitation, Warner Bros. does its best to make viewers barf, siccing Peter Lawford to try to get it on with Matron Davis. If you listen to DEAD RINGER with your eyes closed, you'll swear that composer Andre Previn is scoring a Hammer Studio offering with his chintzy Ticky-Tacky Muzak. WHY did Warner Bros. and Bette collaborate on this seemingly puerile trifle? DEAD RINGER's message is that the Fat Cat Rich are different from We Normal True Blue Loyal Average Union Label Patriotic Americans: the One Per Centers are all Stone Cold Killers at heart (or at the rotten core residing in the middle of their demonic chests). To paraphrase Sen. Joe McCarthy, R-WI, "The only Good Mogul is a Dead Mogul." As these Deplorable Bloated Oligarchs eat each other alive, both figuratively--and in Mr. Lawford's case here, literally (like so many rats trapped in a bucket)--Ms. Davis' nihilistic declaration that she doesn't care whether she lives or dies rings especially True. With DEAD RINGER, Warner again warns us that Lucifer's Three C's are interchangeable, one for another: Capitalism (Frank), Communism (Tony), or Conservatism (Maggie)--just Pick Your Poison.

Reviewed by classicsoncall 8 / 10

"There is a remedy for everything but death".

Some neat twists and turns in this story make it an enjoyable couple of hours, particularly when Edie (Bette Davis) gets what's coming to her - even if she was convicted of the wrong murder! That was one of the ironic things about this picture; as the viewer one likes to see things wrapped up in a nice, neat little package, but if that doesn't work out, well at least justice was served in a roundabout fashion.

This film reminded me of a couple others, the first being Bette Davis's own "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" which also featured a pair of sisters in a dysfunctional relationship. The other was "Sunset Boulevard", in the respect that the butler Henry (Cyril Delevanti) here remained loyal to the phony Margaret DeLorca (also Davis) in somewhat the same manner Erich von Stroheim's character traded his loyalty for individuality while maintaining a fa├žade for Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond. Granted, that situation was a bit different, but you get my drift.

And then there was Duke. Right off the bat I had a pretty good idea Duke would know the score with Edie masquerading as her sister. For a minute, I thought Edie might have given herself away when Sergeant Hobbson (Karl Malden) first came calling, and I was surprised he was never let in on Edie's little secret, although he came pretty close. Good detective work though, getting the goods on Tony Collins (Peter Lawford) and figuring out the old arsenic gambit. Come to think of it, if you wanted to make the case for Edie getting away with a second murder, she had a pretty competent accomplice.

If you can overlook some of the pitfalls in the story and just take it as it plays out, it's a pretty good one. I got a kick out of the opening scene when a sign for Rosedale Cemetery comes into view stating 'Graves, Niches, Cremations and Undertaking - All in One Place'. I thought about that for a while before asking myself, where else would they be?

Reviewed by Mr_Ectoplasma 8 / 10

Double, double, toil and... well, you know

"Dead Ringer" has Bette Davis in her post-"Baby Jane" career stretch in a dual role as twins: one, Edith, a spiteful bar owner; and the other, Margaret, a wealthy socialite who made her fortune off of the man Edith had initially courted years prior. When Edith kills her sister darling and decides to fill in for the role, natural problems ensue.

Bette Davis is known for playing a no-holds-barred bitch on screen, and she spent the majority of her late career perfecting this. She's as famous for her phenomenal early work as she is for playing psychotic, mean-spirited women in the string of cult thrillers she did throughout the sixties, and "Dead Ringer" is a solid entry in that timeline.

Not quite as demented as "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?," "Dead Ringer" is a fairly restrained thriller that culls nearly all of its tension from Edith's masquerade as her dead sister. This is a formulaic plot device, but director Paul Henreid maintains the tension on screen, largely due to Davis's jittery and paranoid performance, but also with the help of some nice cinematography and clever camera-work that allows the on screen twin scenes to hold up remarkably well even today.

As some have noted, the film does lack a bit of a bite, as it is by most accounts a thriller that never really gets around to thrilling. The playful suspense generated by the masquerade is the main attraction here, although the script does provide a remarkably clever twist ending that comes entirely out of left field. Davis's performance is great; not nearly as histrionic as some of her others during this period, and Karl Malden also maintains an even tempo as the good-natured cop/boyfriend.

Overall, "Dead Ringer" is a solid early-sixties thriller that holds up well today. It does plod a bit at times, but is no less compelling from start to finish. For Davis fans, it's an obvious must-see, but audiences who enjoy melodramatic thrillers in a Hitchcockian vein will have plenty of fun with this one. 8/10.

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