Friday, March 1, 2024

Olivia de Havilland, ‘The Darkish Mirror’ 1946


Olivia de Havilland as twin sisters Ruth & Terry Collins, one good & one unhealthy, natch!
 From 1946’s “The Darkish Mirror.”

For the primary time, I simply watched 1946’s The Darkish
, although this sort of darkish ’40s melodrama is correct up my noir alley.
Sadly, the story of a homicide, with twin sisters (Olivia de Havilland) as suspects,
was simply reasonably entertaining, contemplating its prospects. 

Sometimes refined poster artwork for the period, 1946’s “The Darkish Mirror.”

Listed below are my 10 takeaways on The Darkish Mirror.

#1)  Olivia
de Havilland’s twin performances as twins Terry and Ruth are the very best factor
about this darkish movie. She offers refined variations to the 2 sisters, who’re
seemingly shut. Whereas Olivia’s model was actually an actress of her time, she
was way more restrained than different film divas that actually would have gone too
huge—no names talked about!

Lew Ayres because the physician and Olivia de Havilland as one of many sisters, in 1946’s
“The Darkish Mirror.” From this angle, Olivia seems a bit like Joan Crawford.

#2)  Nunnally
Johnson’s screenplay is much from seamless. Johnson appeared to do higher with
comedy than drama, although he later scripted The
Three Faces of Eve
. Right here, the cops are supposed to offer comedian reduction,
headed by Thomas Mitchell. Effectively, that does not precisely encourage confidence in
their skills, once they’re leering on the sisters, or comically making an attempt to
guess who’s who! And did the psychiatrist, performed by Lew Ayres, actually should
fall in love with one of many sisters? It does deliver out the jealous sibling’s
rage, nevertheless it appears umm… a bit unprofessional!

Psychiatrist Lew Ayres does the style take a look at to find out which twin is a killer
in 1946’s “The Darkish Mirror.”

#3)  Robert
Siodmak was famed for his tight, dramatic movie noirs. The Darkish Mirror runs at a lean 85 minutes. Maybe that is why the
movie feels a bit cartoonish, because the story is given the bum’s rush, leaping
by means of hoops. However frankly, there’s not a lot of a narrative, and it is apparent who
the unhealthy twin is from the get-go, so maybe much less was extra.

Are you an excellent twin, or a nasty twin? Lew Ayres wonders about Olivia de Havilland,
in 1946’s “The Darkish Mirror.”

#4)  The
cinematography by Milton R. Krasner and rating by Dimitri Tiomkin are high notch
and assist add to the temper and suspense.

#5)  I
realize it was a special period, but when I used to be 30 and lived with my twin,
sharing a room with twin beds, sporting twin outfits, and sharing one job, I might in all probability be homicidal, too!

Olivia de Havilland’s twin sisters even costume in the identical model nighties!
From 1946’s “The Darkish Mirror.”

#6)  I
thought Olivia’s efficiency made the variations between the twins refined
sufficient that the wardrobe division did not should continuously establish the
twins with monogrammed garments and rapper-style bling that spelled their

“The Darkish Mirror” makes certain you do not combine up the sisters by giving them huge bling!

#7)  The
solid, regardless of the one-dimensional script, makes the film enjoyable. Thomas Mitchell
(Scarlett’s father or George Bailey’s uncle, take your choose) is at all times
watchable, Lew Ayres is a powerful however mild presence, and an impossibly younger
Richard Lengthy as a bellhop is good-looking —I at all times obtained him blended up with Gig
Younger, BTW!

#8)  Like
quite a lot of movie noirs, The Darkish
finale is an eye-roll.

The male authority figures have fascinating methods of discovering out the reality in 1946’s
 “The Darkish Mirror.”

#9)  The Darkish Mirror was a wave of mid-40s
motion pictures that first handled psychiatry. Two years later, De Havilland
would star in The Snake Pit.

#10)  Fantasy
casting, do not get me improper, Olivia is terrific in The Darkish Mirror. However what in the event that they’d dropped the dual facet and
simply solid actual life sister Joan Fontaine? Their hatred would have been fairly
plausible. And I am going to allow you to determine who ought to have performed the evil sister!

Mirror, mirror, on the wall… Olivia instances two in 1946’s “The Darkish Mirror.”

Attention-grabbing reality: Olivia’s WB pal Bette Davis
performed twins, good and unhealthy, the identical yr in A Stolen Life, way more subtly than decades-later Lifeless Ringer

The underside line: In the event you like movie noir and are
not bothered by excessive plotting, The
Darkish Mirror
is enjoyable to observe. Most significantly, the movie was one other
stepping stone in Olivia de Havilland’s path to stronger roles.

Olivia and Bette Davis play good/unhealthy sisters, In This Our Life. My look:

My Olivia de Havilland tribute:

Which twin is envious in 1946’s “The Darkish Mirror?”

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