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The Bigamist

Where to Watch The Bigamist

PG
1953

The Bigamist is a tale of one man's double life, filled with emotional suspense and moral conundrums. Directed by the legendary Oscar nominee Ida Lupino and starring Joan Fontaine, Edmund Gwenn, and Edmond O'Brien, this 1953 film truly showcases the faces and talents that made Hollywood's golden age truly golden. Captivating in its storytelling, The Bigamist grips its audience from the opening scene and weaves a narrative web that includes suspense, romance, and heartbreaking dilemmas.

At the heart of the film is Harry Graham, brilliantly portrayed by Edmund O'Brien. Harry is an ordinary man who runs a freezer-truck business with his wife, Eve. Played by the elegant Joan Fontaine, Eve is an sophisticated businesswoman who handles the operations of the company from their home base in San Francisco while Harry travels for sales. They seem to have a perfect marriage, comfortable but perhaps missing a spark. Life takes them on an unexpected journey when they decide to adopt a child, having been unable to conceive.

This process draws Graham into the meticulous investigation of Mr. Jordan (Edmund Gwenn), an enthusiastic adoption agent who meticulously vets potential parents. It is Mr. Jordan's job to ensure the child's home is a loving and stable environment. As he probes into Harry and Eve's life together, dark secrets begin to unravel. Despite their outwardly picture-perfect life, it becomes clear that Harry has led more than just a double life in business. What would have been a routine adoption inquiry leads to an eventful journey into the clandestine life of a bigamist.

The narrative core of The Bigamist is Harry's secret: his other wife, Phyllis, residing in Los Angeles. The magnificent Ida Lupino, who also directed the film, plays Phyllis, a sensual and loveable woman who is completely unaware of Harry's deceit. She remains blindly in love with Harry, whose divided heart and tangled affections turn the plot into a conundrum that's joyously suspenseful. What started as an ordinary adoption procedure becomes a profound moral quandary, leading to a series of explosive revelations. Harry's cohesion of his dual personas transforms his identity from a doting husband and promising adoptive father into an unethical con-man.

As the story unravels, The Bigamist dives deep into the complexities of human relationships and the often muzzy line between right and wrong. Harry is not portrayed merely as a disillusioned villain. Instead, the film paints a complex portrait, revealing his side of the story and the effects of his decisions on people around him, aiming to portray a humanized picture of a bigamist. In the process, it raises questions about love, loyalty, morality, and the socio-cultural bindings of the 1950s.

The vivid performances from the cast form the emotional backbone of the film. O'Brien's layered role as Harry makes him vulnerable yet intriguing, while Fontaine elegantly displays the tribulations of a wife unknowingly sharing her husband. Lupino brings warmth and compassion to Phyllis, the unsuspecting second wife who adds emotional depth to the unfolding drama. Edmund Gwenn in his role as a snoopy but caring adoption agent adds an extra dimension to the gripping narrative.

While touching on taboo topics, The Bigamist is also reflective of its era, balancing the traditional values of the time with the urge to push against societal and moral norms—a trademark Ida Lupino touch. The storytelling combined with the setting in the heart of 1950s America creates a compelling atmosphere, intensified by an accompanying score and timeless black-and-white cinematography.

The Bigamist not only entertains but also compels viewers to question the conventional notion of relationships and moral boundaries. With its intriguing premise, powerhouse performances, and Ida Lupino's adept direction, it's a movie that beautifully captures the era's essence and offers a unique perspective on the tangled web of human emotions.

The Bigamist is a Drama movie released in 1953. It has a runtime of 80 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.8..

How to Watch The Bigamist

Where can I stream The Bigamist movie online? The Bigamist is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, MGM+, FuboTV, Plex, The Roku Channel, Kanopy, Amazon, EPIX NOW. Some platforms allow you to rent The Bigamist for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.8/10
Director
Ida Lupino
Stars
Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino, Edmond O'Brien, Edmund Gwenn
Genres
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