L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, May 15, 2022

In and out of the shadows - Joan Crawford and Conrad Veidt in "A Woman's Face", 1941


"A Woman's Face" is really rather a silly film. It can't decide what it wants to be. And there are unfortunate shifts in tone; told in flash-backs, the gritty - MGM's idea of gritty, anyway - melodramatics are frequently interrupted by jarring moments of flat-footed comedy. It's too bad, because the photography is often quite beautiful and there are moments of brilliance, mostly whenever Conrad Veidt is on screen. His Torsten Barring is first fascinated, even aroused, by Crawford's character's scarred face, disfigured soul, recognizing in the professional blackmailer a kindred spirit; “We are both proud, both wretched.” And later, her Anna Holm, face miraculously restored, once having longed for him, is now trapped by his will, unable to extricate herself from his evil plans. Their scenes together are fairly electric.

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