Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1957. Twentieth Century Fox.Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson, based on the book by Corbett Thigpen, Hervey M. Cleckley. Cinematography by Stanley Cortez. Produced by Nunnally Johnson. Music by Robert Emmett Dolan. Production Design by Herman A. Blumenthal, Lyle R. Wheeler. Costume Design by Renie. Film Editing by Marjorie Fowler. Academy Awards 1957. Golden Globe Awards 1957.
Ignore the painfully cheesy commentary by the “expert medical opinion” in this film and you have an engrossing psychological drama. Joanne Woodward is electrifying as a young woman suffering from multiple personality disorder, with two extra people inhabiting her besides her own self. Through sessions with her analyst, she is able to track her illness back to its root and deal with the trauma that brought it on. It’s best to think of this exceptionally well-acted film purely as an opportunity for entertainment, since the medical problems dealt with seem simplistic and far too easy to figure out (her one personality is timid, virginal Eve White, the other one sassy, brazen Eve Black; can you add one plus one?) Woodward’s performance hasn’t aged a single day.