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Feb 2, 2014 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm| $5
Pioneering female proto-auteur Ida Lupino directs and co-stars in THE BIGAMIST, a minor-key tragedy of one man’s shameful, helpless descent into the depraved world of dual marriage. Planning to adopt a baby with gorgeous wife Eve (Joan Fontaine), Harry (Edmond O’Brien) can’t help but act suspicious in the office of adoption agent Mr. Jordan (Edmund Gwenn). Jordan begins to investigate Harry, quickly discovering his other marriage across town to strong-willed wife Phyllis (Ida Lupino). How the heck did Harry get into this mess?
Mid-century puritanism aside, THE BIGAMIST easily engages with a sustained tone of strong performances and a genuinely interesting narrative built out of Harry, Eve and Phyllis’ predicament. After its modest success, the film was to be the last—along with The Hitch-Hiker, released the same year—in a concentrated period of filmmaking for Ida Lupino, who would turn her attention to writing and directing for television and only helm one more feature film in her career: 1966′s Catholic comedy THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS.
Interestingly, THE BIGAMIST was written by noir-screenwriter-turned-TV-writer/producer Collier Young, who was married to Ida Lupino from 1948 until 1951… and then married to Joan Fontaine from 1952 until 1961 (including, of course, during the production of this film). Allegedly the two marriages never overlapped (at least not legally)…