A Double Life (1947)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Ronald Colman won an Academy Award for his portrayal of an off-the-beam actor in A Double Life. A beloved stage star, Anthony John (Colman), has problems with his private life due to his unpredictable outbursts of temper. This trait has already cost him his wife, Brita (Signe Hasso), and threatens to sabotage his career. Nonetheless, Anthony makes his peace with Brita, and the two actors star in a new Broadway staging of +Othello. The play is a hit, running over 300 performances, but the pressures of portraying a man moved to murder by jealousy takes its toll on Anthony. In a fit of delirium, he strangles his casual mistress, Pat (Shelley Winters), but retains no memory of the awful crime. Press agent Bill Friend (Edmond O'Brien), unaware that Anthony is the killer, uses Pat's murder as publicity for +Othello. Anthony becomes enraged at this cheap ploy, and attacks Friend. At this point, Anthony realizes that he has been living "a double life" and is in fact Pat's murderer. A Double Life was written for the screen by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, who occasionally digress from the melodramatic plotline to include a few backstage inside jokes.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Studios Home Video


Shelley Winters
as Pat Kroll
John Derek
as Police Stenographer
Ray Collins
as Victor Donlan
Mary Young
as Actor in 'A Gentleman's Gentleman'
Art Smith
as Wigmaker
Ronald Colman
as Anthony John
Edmond O'Brien
as Bill Friend
Betsy Blair
as Girls in Wig Shop
Signe Hasso
as Brita
Millard Mitchell
as Al Cooley
Russ Conway
as Reporter
Whit Bissell
as Dr. Stauffer
Joe Sawyer
as Pete Bonner
George Douglas
as Audience
Leslie Denison
as Actor in 'Othello'
Elliott Reid
as Actor in 'A Gentleman's Gentleman'
Boyd Irwin
as Actor in 'Othello'
Barry Macollum
as Stagehand
Thayer Roberts
as Actor in 'Othello'
Wilton Graff
as Dr. Mervin
Elmo Lincoln
as Detective
Joey Ray
as Boyer
Robert Emmett Keane
as 2nd Photographer
Frank Richards
as Stagehand
Georgia Caine
as Actor in 'A Gentleman's Gentleman'
Carl Milletaire
as Customer
Curt Conway
as Reporter
Nick Dennis
as Stagehand
Peter Thompson
as Assistant Stage Manager
Charles La Torre
as Stellini
Philip Loeb
as Max Lasker
Marjorie Woodworth
as Girls in Wig Shop
Buddy Roosevelt
as Fingerprint Man
Janet Warren
as Girls in Wig Shop
David Bond
as Actor in 'Othello'
Claire Carleton
as Waitress
Guy Bates Post
as Actor in 'Othello'
Frederic Worlock
as Actor in 'Othello'
Harlan Briggs
as Oscar Bemard
Charles Jordan
as Bartender
Albert Pollet
as Costume Designer
Fred Hoose
as Laughing Man
Fay Kanin
as Actor in 'Othello'
Mike Stokey
as Audience
Paddy Chayefsky
as Photographer
Arthur E. Gould-Porter
as David Bond ["othello" Sequence]
Beatrice Gray
as Audience
Joe Bernard
as Husband
Fernanda Eliscu
as Landlady
Diane Stewart
as Audience
Percival Vivian
as Actor in 'Othello'
Wayne Treadway
as Man at Party
John Drew Colt
as Stage Manager
Virginia Patton
as Actor in 'Othello'
Sid Tomack
as Wigmaker
Laura Brooks
as Dowager
Joann Dolan
as Ellen
Mary Worth
as Woman in Audience
Harry Bannister
as 2nd Actor
Watson Downs
as Bootmaker
Reginald Billado
as Reporter
Maude Fealy
as Woman
Doretta Johnson
as Audience
Kay Lavelle
as Large Woman
Don McGill
as Man at Party
Bruce Riley
as Man at Party
Elektra Rozanska
as Audience
Pete Sosso
as Tailor
Phil MacKenzie
as Police Photographer
Yvette Reynard
as Audience
Jerry Salvail
as Audience
Harry Oldridge
as Stagehand
Janet Manson
as Girls in Lobby
Augusta Roeland
as Girls in Lobby
Hal Melone
as Head Usher
Clare Alden
as Audience
James F. Cade
as Audience
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Critic Reviews for A Double Life

All Critics (7)

It was the role of a lifetime, for any actor, but Colman got it, and he nailed it. He won an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and he deserved them.

Full Review… | September 26, 2012
Combustible Celluloid

Colman faz um belo trabalho como o perturbado ator que falha em separar realidade da ficção, mas Cukor e seus roteiristas se perde nos aspectos da produção que devem ao noir, tornando-a frágil e artificial.

February 19, 2009
Cinema em Cena

Subtle, well-directed drama.

Full Review… | August 8, 2008
Classic Film and Television

Ronald Colman won a Best Actor Oscar for his ornate and hammy performance as an obsessed matinee-idol stage actor cracking up before our eyes.

Full Review… | February 2, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Cukor's first teaming with writers Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin draws on the professional hazard of actors who fail to distinguish between their lives on stage and off; Ronald Colman won the Oscar for this part.

Full Review… | June 18, 2006

Quote not available.

Full Review… | April 24, 2012
Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review Database

Audience Reviews for A Double Life

Coleman allegedly pulls this one of his hat for an Oscar win at the end of his career but I wasn't terribly impressed. Silly at times.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

★★★1/2 (out of four) This is the type of part that actors would kill for. It's about the theatre. It's about extremes. And it's about madness. And most of all it is about chewing up a great deal of scenery. Ronald Colman did just that, and he did it beautifully. So mjuch so that he won himself an Academy Award in the process. Ronald Colman plays Anthony John a celebrated theatre actor who regularly graces the Broadway stage. He has just been cast in a new production of Shakespeare's "Othello". He is a hit in the play, but his sanity begins to slip. By the time he reaches his 600th performance he has began bluring the lines of reality with that of his character. Director George Cukor has shot the film with confidence. The black and white cinematography is stunning and Colman is fantastic in the lead. [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v48/Zeppo1/DoubleLife_zps42804a72.jpg[/IMG]

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

An actor gets too involved in his roles and eventually looses himself in the role of Othello. Colman gives a great performance in this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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