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Monday, April 10, 2017

Another Man's Poison (1951)

A man (Gary Merrill) who has been double crossed by his partner in a bank robbery goes to the secluded home of the man's estranged wife (Bette Davis), a famous mystery writer, in an attempt to confront him. However, he finds the man dead and the wife admits she killed him. They form an uneasy alliance but is blackmail and murder ever a good basis for a partnership? Based on the play DEADLOCK by Leslie Sands and directed by Irving Rapper (NOW VOYAGER). The film never transcends its theatrical roots, it's a very verbose movie. Although the film is occasionally "opened up" with a few outdoor scenes, the film mostly takes place in the writer's home. Mystery fans will have no problem figuring everything out fairly easily. If one can get past the fact that the matronly looking Davis is about 10 years too old for the spider woman femme fatale role she plays here, she provides the catnip for the viewer. It's the kind of juicy role her fans lap up and she doesn't disappoint. But there's no denying the enterprise feels like an also ran. Emlyn Williams as a meddling neighbor is so irritating (any normal person would have kicked him out of their house) that one wishes he were the initial victim! With Anthony Steel and Barbara Murray providing the triangle subplot.

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