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The Bigamist

USA 1953. Dir: Ida Lupino. 80 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION! Ida Lupino’s follow-up to her noir landmark The High-Hiker (the first film noir directed by a woman) was this haunting hybrid of noir and melodrama. Noir staple Edmond O’Brien (also in The Hitch-Hiker) is Harry, a travelling salesman secretly married to two women: refined, business-smart Eve, played by Hitchcock star Joan Fontaine (Rebecca, Suspicion), and tough-talking waitress Phyllis, played by Lupino herself. The film made Lupino the first woman to direct herself in a major sound-era feature. The sensitive handling of controversial subject matter and remarkable sympathy for all characters — deeply flawed men included! — are typical of Lupino’s distinctive, too-few movies. “Movingly illuminating ... The three lead performances are terrific” (Tom Milne, Time Out). “Fascinating ... Lupino’s film reveals and recasts film noir as male melodrama par excellence” (British Film Institute).


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REVIEWS

"The Bigamist asks a lot more questions about the messiness of human relationships than it is able to resolve, and it is a far more fascinating film for it."

Senses of Cinema | full review