This is a tense and ingeniously plotted noir film, based on a clever novel by Hugh Wheeler (writing as Patrick Quentin), and excellently scripted by Nunnally Johnson, who also directed. There is no way you can work out what happened until the end of the film, so don't even try. It is disappointing that the alluring Gene Tierney does not have a more interesting part and is more or less limited to being 'the wife', while her husband Van Heflin does all the acting. Ginger Rogers does a broad-stroke interpretation of a broad-stroke character, George Raft is stolid as a policeman, though it is only a supporting role despite his star billing. There are some splendid supporting performances: Virginia Leith, with a voice just like that of today's Selma Blair, was intriguing and had such promise, but never got the parts to show what she could have done in her career. Reginald Gardner is superb as Ginger Rogers's 'kept husband'. Peggy Ann Garner plays a scheming young girl (though she is 22 playing 20, she seems too old for the part, and is strangely frumpy and dull) who wheedles her way unscrupulously into affluent company with a pretence of innocence. Van Heflin is strong and forceful in his increasingly desperate role. This is an excellent fifties noir, made in colour, and Ginger Rogers's outfits are something else, and those hats! There is no undertone of despair as there is in so many forties noirs, there is instead the whiff of corrupt wealth and fame, which was so fifties. (There's no corruption now, is there?) This has something of the stage about it, being perhaps over-constructed, but it is damned complicated and keeps you guessing until the last scenes.
Black Widow (1954) 720p YIFY Movie
Black Widow (1954)
Black Widow is a movie starring Ginger Rogers, Van Heflin, and Gene Tierney. A young writer insinuates herself into the life of a Broadway producer.
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The Synopsis for Black Widow (1954) 720p
A married Broadway producer is taken with an innocent young woman who wants to be a writer and make it on Broadway. He decides to take her under his wing, but it's not long before the young lady is found dead in his apartment. At first thought to be a suicide, it is later discovered that she has been murdered, and suspicion immediately falls on the producer. He begins his own investigation in order to clear his name, and one of the first things he finds out is that the young woman wasn't quite as naive and innocent as she appeared to be.
The Director and Players for Black Widow (1954) 720p
The Reviews for Black Widow (1954) 720p
Girl on the Make, and Those Compromised by HerReviewed byrobert-temple-1Vote: 9/10
Everyone tries hard to make this work, but somehow, it never fits together. Johnson's script gives some authentic 50s New York texture to the early scenes (some location shots help a lot) and the theatrical atmosphere seems right for its time (this theatrical milieu is almost totally gone from New York now), but the plot creaks its way to an oddly flat conclusion.
The standouts for me are Rogers, who tries hard to play a character different from her usual, Mabel Albertson as a restaurant owner, and Cathleen Nesbitt, again playing against type, as an American housekeeper. Tierney looks distracted and is wasted here (were her mental problems beginning to surface during the making of this?), Hefliin goes though the motions; the supporting cast is decent but flat, quite missing the opportunity to add some texture to the piece, except for those I've mentioned, Nesbitt and Albertson.
And finally, Fox has started to show this creaky but interesting melodrama in its original, widescreen version. New York City at last takes its role as another character in the piece.
Now on DVD, 1954's BLACK WIDOW is a handsome, intriguing and enjoyable whodunit. Filmed in the glory days of CinemaScope and stereo sound, this is what Fox did at its best. Their scope films from THE ROBE on should all be released on DVD. BLACK WIDOW stars Ginger Rogers, Van Heflin and Gene Tierney. Peggy Ann Garner is the "new" girl in town with aspirations to become a writer. As luck would have it her Uncle happens to be an actor in a show produced by the Van Heflin character and then things start to get sticky. A small drawback is the use of so many interiors with fake backgrounds and some static blocking of scenes, something like a stage play. Other than that the picture rocks with twists and turns with some good acting by some old pros. Ginger Rogers (probably not unlike her real self) is wonderful as an aging diva. Van Heflin is properly perplexed in an undemanding role. Gene Tierney still looks good, but doesn't have much to do. Peggy Ann does very well as the center of attention. Virginia Leith, a Fox contract player, is awesome in her few scenes. She should have made more films. A nice bit is turned in by an unbilled Mabel Albertson, and a very nice performance by a Hildy Simms helps the plot along. People writing about this should NOT do any spoiler alerts as I was surprised as to who did Peggy Ann Garner in. A wonderful transfer and two short but interesting specials on Gene and Ginger. A very insightful commentary makes this a disc to have. Now Fox has to release some other titles of the same era such as NO DOWN PAYMENT; WOMEN'S WORLD; IN LOVE AND WAR; and UNTAMED.