The Dark Mirror

USA | 1946 | 85 minutes | Robert Siodmak

Robert Siodmak’s 1946 psychological thriller follows a pair of identical twins with dueling personalities, one of which is a suspect in the murder of a doctor. The Dark Mirror dips into terrifying evil doppelganger territory, while at the same time hitting all the disturbing aspects of an effective melodrama.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

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  • Matinee

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A newly restored psychological thriller from director Robert Siodmak, one of film noir's master practitioners, The Dark Mirror opens with a murder, as many a film noir does. Two eyewitnesses place Terry Collins, a pretty, young woman who runs a magazine stand in the victim's office building, at the crime scene within moments of the murder. But when the investigating officer Lieutenant Stevenson interviews her, she provides him with an ironclad alibi and three other witnesses who can place her four miles away. Stevenson soon discovers that Terry has a twin sister, Ruth, but their tight-knit sororal bond proves to be an investigative dead end. At Stevenson’s behest, Dr. Elliott, an expert on twins, agrees to interview the sisters, with his first cursory examination revealing, One of our young ladies is insane, very clever, very intelligent, but insane. Only which one? Olivia de Havilland gives a consummate performance as both twins Ruth and Terry, often playing against herself in extended scenes and instilling subtle nuances into each sister’s character. 35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funding provided by The Film Foundation, Paramount Pictures, and the Packard Humanities Institute.

Director Biography
The Tennessee-born and Germany-raised Siodmak combined German Expressionism and contemporary American film styles to create a series of dark, melodramatic, and satisfying actioners and crime thrillers, including Phantom Lady (1944), The Spiral Staircase (1945), The Killers (1946), The Dark Mirror (1946), The Crimson Pirate (1952), and The Magnificent Sinner (1959).

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  • Director: Robert Siodmak
  • Principal Cast: Olivia De Havilland, Richard Long, Thomas Mitchell, Lew Ayres, Charles Evans
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1946
  • Running Time: 85 minutes
  • Producer: Nunnally Johnson
  • Screenplay: Nunnally Johnson
  • Cinematographers: Milton Krasner
  • Editors: Ernest Nims
  • Music: Dimitri Tiomkin
  • Website: film-foundation.org
  • Filmography: The Devil Strikes at Night (1957), Deported (1950), Criss Cross (1949), Cry of the City (1948), The Spiral, Staircase (1946), The Killers (1946), The Suspect (1944), Phantom Lady (1944), Christmas Holiday (1944) Hatred (1938)
  • Language: English
  • Format: 35mm
  • International Sales: Paramount