The Whole Truth (1958)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Max Paulton
as Carol Paulton
as Gina Bertini
as Inspector Simon
as Willy Reichel
as Hotel Receptionist
as Leading Man
as American Woman
as Party Guest
as Jack Leslie
as Male Servant
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Critic Reviews for The Whole Truth
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Audience Reviews for The Whole Truth
This film is about a married movie producer who is accused of killing the star of his most recent movie, who also happens to be his former mistress AND married herself, unbeknownst to the producer. I was hoping for a lot more than I ended up with. It started out well enough, with Stewart Granger going out a window and being chased on foot by police. It turns out that's the middle of the story. What leads up to that scene follows in the film, where the scene is replayed verbatim.
I never could decide if this film was supposed to be drama or comedy...even black comedy would have been OK, but it didn't really seem to be that either. Part of the problem was the score, which was a beatniky jazzy mix that would have been right at home in some 60's detective TV show. Another thing that was interesting once but got irritating was some of the scene changes, which slid from scene to scene like a slide projector.
As far as the story progression goes, we know early on that Granger isn't the killer. And the real killer is also established early on, with the idea of setting Granger up for the blame. But there are far too many coincidences of storyline and people appearing right where they need to be at the right time. I don't expect films to be real, but I do expect a certain amount of "realism" -- it needs to make enough sense to get me involved in the story, But through this I just kept rolling my eyes and thinking "yeah, right." And finally, what was up with that goofy ending!?! It's a surprise twist that's NOT a twist. It was completely unnecessary and just appeared as though they couldn't think of a good ending, so they threw this in at the last minute.
The cast was OK. Stewart Granger has the combo of looks, elegance and arrogance that fits my impression of what a movie producer would be like. George Sanders as the dead woman's husband is suitably sneaky. Donna Reed didn't really have anything to do as Granger's wife, although one strand of the story made you think she might play an important part in resolving the mystery. That fell apart in one of the many coincidences. Gianna Maria Canale as the actress was OK, but since she was murdered before much of the film is gone, it's hard to judge her.
I can only really recommend this to the most hardcore fans of George Sanders or Stewart Granger (Granger is the reason I wanted to see it in the first place). Otherwise, I'd say don't bother. See Scarmouche or King Solomon's Mines for Granger, and Rebecca or All About Eve for Sanders.
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