Wonderful write-up of The Bigamist.

Sister Celluloid

A hundred years ago this week, a miracle happened!!

On September 10, 1915, Edmond O’Brien was born…

In 1953’s The Bigamist, he scrambles up and down the California coast, shuttling between two wives. If I’d been anywhere in the vicinity, it would have been three.

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Ida Lupino, who also directed, plays Phyllis, an L.A. restaurant hostess and the more sympathetic of the two wives. And that was my main gripe: not that she took the plummier role (why wouldn’t she?), but that her rival (Joan Fontaine) was subtly frowned upon for being a—gasp!—business woman, and a damned good one. So, of course her husband became a bigamist! He was lonely and emasculated and blah, blah, blah… Really, Ida? You, of all people, ran with that tired old trope?

Here’s the thing, though: in other ways, the movie is pretty subversive, especially for a noir. O’Brien, unlikely as it may seem…

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