Now on DVD, 1954's BLACK WIDOW is a handsome, intriguing and enjoyable whodunit. Filmed in the glory days of CinemaScope and stereo sound, this is what Fox did at its best. Their scope films from THE ROBE on should all be released on DVD. BLACK WIDOW stars Ginger Rogers, Van Heflin and Gene Tierney. Peggy Ann Garner is the "new" girl in town with aspirations to become a writer. As luck would have it her Uncle happens to be an actor in a show produced by the Van Heflin character and then things start to get sticky. A small drawback is the use of so many interiors with fake backgrounds and some static blocking of scenes, something like a stage play. Other than that the picture rocks with twists and turns with some good acting by some old pros. Ginger Rogers (probably not unlike her real self) is wonderful as an aging diva. Van Heflin is properly perplexed in an undemanding role. Gene Tierney still looks good, but doesn't have much to do. Peggy Ann does very well as the center of attention. Virginia Leith, a Fox contract player, is awesome in her few scenes. She should have made more films. A nice bit is turned in by an unbilled Mabel Albertson, and a very nice performance by a Hildy Simms helps the plot along. People writing about this should NOT do any spoiler alerts as I was surprised as to who did Peggy Ann Garner in. A wonderful transfer and two short but interesting specials on Gene and Ginger. A very insightful commentary makes this a disc to have. Now Fox has to release some other titles of the same era such as NO DOWN PAYMENT; WOMEN'S WORLD; IN LOVE AND WAR; and UNTAMED.
Black Widow (1954) 1080p YIFY Movie
Black Widow (1954) 1080p
Black Widow is a movie starring Ginger Rogers, Van Heflin, and Gene Tierney. A young writer insinuates herself into the life of a Broadway producer.
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The Synopsis for Black Widow (1954) 1080p
A married Broadway producer is taken with an innocent young woman who wants to be a writer and make it on Broadway. He decides to take her under his wing, but it's not long before the young lady is found dead in his apartment. At first thought to be a suicide, it is later discovered that she has been murdered, and suspicion immediately falls on the producer. He begins his own investigation in order to clear his name, and one of the first things he finds out is that the young woman wasn't quite as naive and innocent as she appeared to be.
The Director and Players for Black Widow (1954) 1080p
The Reviews for Black Widow (1954) 1080p
a worth while watchReviewed byryancmVote: 8/10
Five years earlier, this drawingroom drama would have been filmed in small screen b&w. But the year is 1954 and film audiences are staying home with their new-fangled little black boxes. So a big budget studio like TCF takes what amounts to an "Ellery Queen in Manhattan" plot, gussies it up in lavish color, stretches the screen to Cinemascope length, loads up the marquee with big names, and sends the result out to compete with Lucille Ball and Milton Berle. I don't know how well the strategy succeeded commercially, but I enjoyed the movie then and still do.
As a whodunit, the mystery's only partially successful—not enough suspects and too convoluted to follow. At the same time, the pacing sometimes sags in ways that undercut the suspense. Still, the 95 minutes does add up to a gorgeous tapestry, thanks to expert art direction, set decoration, and a well-upholstered cast. And who could hold together a sometimes-confusing storyline better than the always-reliable Van Heflin. Also, I expect urbane writer-director Nunnally Johnson fit comfortably with the sophisticated Manhattan setting and show-biz personalities. So, it's not surprising that he gets off some insider innuendo. Catch the cocktail party shot at gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, known for her bizarre headgear; I expect Johnson was settling an old score there. Then too, having the ingénue (Garner) turn up mysteriously pregnant is rather daring for the straitjacketed Production Code period. Also, watch for the skinny young actor (Oliver) interviewed by Heflin near film's end. That's future TV mogul Aaron Spelling getting a proverbial foot in the door.
Anyway, the film provides an entertaining glimpse of drawingroom drama getting a face-lift during the early years of the television challenge.
Van Heflin is a theatrical producer who's suspected of murder in "Black Widow," a 1954 20th Century Fox Technicolor film directed by Nunnally Johnson. The film is set in New York among the sophisticated Broadway set, and the cast is full of familiar faces: Ginger Rogers, Gene Tierney, George Raft, Reginald Gardiner, Peggy Ann Garner, Virginia Leith, Otto Kruger, Mabel Albertson, and even Aaron Spelling.
Garner plays a young writer who, new to New York, keeps making increasingly important friends until she winds up an apparent suicide in the apartment of producer Peter Denver and his beautiful actress wife, Lottie. Soon, however, it's revealed that she was murdered, and Heflin is the prime suspect. During his own investigation as he tries to keep George Raft from putting him in prison, he learns that the sweet young thing may have been young, but she wasn't sweet.
Though a little slow at times, this is a highly entertaining film with its shots of New York and panoramic views from luxury apartments. The acting is wonderful. Ginger Rogers is great as the glamorous, acid-tongued Iris, a well-known actress with a ne'er do well husband, played effectively by Gardiner. Gene Tierney looks lovely but has a supporting role in this as Heflin's wife. The film sports two former child actors: Peggy Ann Garner as the murder victim and Skip Homeier as one of her love interests. Newcomer Virginia Leith is Homeier's sister and Garner's confidante. Garner looks appropriately innocent.
The looping in this film is very obvious for some reason - at least on television, some of the sound was fuzzy and then boom! the dubbing would come in. A very minor point. The mystery is intriguing, the glamor high, the dialogue sharp - an engrossing way to spend one's time.