Movie Diary 7/13/2020

I Married a Witch (Rene Clair, 1942). Fredric March was a grand thespian and Veronica Lake a movie blonde, but she easily out-does him in this supernatural comedy. There are some wonderfully weird witch-shots (the spooky revelation of warlock Cecil Kellaway driving a car, for instance), and a few running gags are top-notch, like the doors that keep slamming on people. Lake is really sharp and funny, and keeps the sometimes forced comedy perking along.

Another Man’s Poison (Irving Rapper, 1951). Oddball project for Bette Davis, very stagey and dramatic, shot in the UK. Gary Merrill (BD’s real-life hubs) shows up at author Davis’s mansion and must pretend to be her husband, knowing that she has only recently killed the spouse himself (who was Merrill’s criminal partner – it’s tangled). Nothing really terribly convincing, especially Davis, but the final ten minutes are fun in an over-the-top way. Rapper, who directed Now, Voyager, photographs Davis in such a way that suggests some kind of personal animus.