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Two-Faced Woman

(1941 b 90')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Adapted from Ludwig Fulda's play, a successful editor marries a ski instructor, who declines to live in the city but as her twin sister seduces him.

Larry Blake (Melvyn Douglas) sees ski instructor Karin Borg (Greta Garbo) and decides to take lessons. He brings her back to his cabin as his bride. His partner O. O. Miller (Roland Young) and secretary Miss Ellis (Ruth Gordon) expect Larry to return to publishing. Griselda (Constance Bennett) calls Larry to come back and is angry he married. Larry sees his magazine and decides to go back to New York. Karin wants to give Larry a new way of life and says she is not going to New York. They make up, but in the morning Larry orders Karin to come with him. She refuses, and he promises to return. She gets telegrams with excuses and goes to New York to surprise him.

Karin finds Larry at a rehearsal with writer Griselda and tells Miss Ellis she will leave. Miss Ellis tells Miller that she is Karin's twin sister. When Miller takes her to dinner, Larry sees them. He disbelieves it is not Karin but accepts it. Griselda and Dick Williams (Robert Sterling) join them. Karin as Katherine implies that she lives by her charms. Larry calls and learns that Karin went to New York. She tells Griselda that she is in love with Larry and asks her advice. Jealous Griselda warns her to leave Larry to her. Katherine will only dance with a professional and invents a new dance. At her door Larry kisses her and says she is Karin. She calls Miss Ellis that she will drive Larry back to Karin. She drinks, gets a call from Dick, and promises to see him. She tells Larry to go back to Karin; he says he is in love with her, kisses her, and leaves.

Miss Ellis treats Karin's hangover, and Karin says she despises Katherine. Larry calls, and she goes to see him. They dance and are romantic. Larry says he can't deceive Karin and asks her to marry, saying he must see Karin about the divorce; but he is there when Karin arrives. Larry kisses her, and she wakes happily. Karin tells Larry that she will go to New York with him; but he says he wants to see Katherine. Karin puts on Katherine's negligee and says she is Katherine. Larry says that Karin is prosaic but must have the characteristics of Katherine too. She skis off, and he tries to follow her. Larry loses control skiing and lands in a pond. He tells her he is Larry's twin brother.

The Catholic Legion of Decency condemned the original film because of Larry's moral acceptance of adultery. So the studio added scenes to show he is aware it is his wife, reducing the humor but adding a new level of irony. The comedy shows how women can easily find the uninhibited call girl inside themselves when they are desperate to manipulate a man.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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