Dead Ringer (1964)

dead ringer 1964Most of the time our site is focusing on current movies that are coming out, but I’d like to start spending some more time on classic horror and thrillers. I just started reading ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?’ because I love the film version from 1962. In it, Bette Davis, gives an incredible and frightful performance as an aging psychotic. Dead Ringer is another Bedead ringer bette davis twinstte Davis hit where she gets in touch with her dark side.

Don’t be confused with the film Dead Ringers from 1988. In the ’64 film, Bette Davis really explores her acting chops by playing dual and duel characters. See what I did there? She plays opposing twins Margaret and Edith. Margaret is a lavish, rich widow and Edith is the jealous sister. Edith holds a grudge against Margaret for stealing her boyfriend 20 years ago, whom Margaret married to inherit this comfortable lifestyle. When Edith gets an eviction notice, that’s the last straw, so Edith kills Margaret and secretly takes her place.

A lot of today’s movies are just about the shock factor, but often the essence of the story is lost. I t feels good to get back to the old films every now and then to experience solid story telling. Sometimes these older films can seem slow-paced but Dead Ringer keeps the story moving and Bette Davis keeps you hanging ‘til the very end. The flawless editing when both of Davis’ characters are on screen at the same time is commendable as well.

dead ringer bette davis twinsNeither of the twins are likable; they both have done bad things in their life. It is a conflicting feeling for the audience to decide whose side you stand on. In this sense, it makes the story a lot darker than it appears to be on the surface. I’m sure we have all dreamt what it would be like to be in someone else’s shoes. But for Edie, hiding this fact is not as easy as it seems. People start to get suspicious and stress and paranoia set in. What if this new life is not what you expended it to be? What if there are awful, hidden secrets? Sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. And often, karma is a bitch.

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Dead Ringer (1964) on IMDb

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