The next film I will be talking about is the 1952 movie Another Man’s Poison, starring Bette Davis, Gary Merrill and Emlyn Williams.
Mystery writer Janet Frobisher (Bette Davis) walks to the train station one night to call her secretary’s fiance, Larry Stevens (Anthony Steel), to invite him over to her place. After hanging up, she is offered a ride home by the town veterinarian, Dr. Henderson (Emlyn Williams). Upon returning home, she is startled by the presence of George Bates (Gary Merrill). She quickly finds out he is looking for her husband, since the two of them had robbed a bank together with her husband shooting a policeman. George is insistent on talking with her husband, in spite of her attempts to make him leave, so she reveals that she had killed her husband. She tries to get him to leave, but he stays, posing as her husband, when Dr. Henderson comes in and spies her late husband’s hat. After Dr. Henderson leaves, they plan to throw the body in the lake, but George has to do it alone when Larry and Janet’s secretary, Chris Dale (Barbara Murray), show up, and end up staying the night. George is angry with Janet, as she spends a lot of her free time riding with Larry while Chris types up her next story, with the inquisitive Dr. Henderson constantly popping in and asking questions. Of course, Janet keeps trying to get George to leave, but he refuses, constantly trying to drag her into everything. But, with Dr. Henderson constantly nosing about, can they keep their crimes a secret?
When making the classic All About Eve, Bette Davis and Gary Merrill developed feelings for each other and got married. The success of All About Eve gave her more power in choosing her next role, and she ended up choosing Another Man’s Poison, which was based on a play called Deadlock. What appealed to her was that there was a part for her husband, and since it would be filmed in England, it would essentially be an all-expenses-paid honeymoon for the two of them. The script still needed some work, and Bette had actor/writer Emlyn Williams help to fix it. While there was only so much he was able to do, I can’t deny it was a fun watch. I enjoyed the movie mainly for Bette Davis’s performance, as she really carries the movie as much as anything. It’s worth a recommendation if only to see what she does with the role, so if you get a chance to see it, don’t hesitate!
This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Classicflix. It was their first release (after having been a Netflix-type of DVD rental service specializing in movies from the silent era up through the sixties for about a decade), and, to the best of my knowledge, they licensed the transfer itself from Cohen Media Group. But it is a fantastic-looking transfer for the movie, that easily makes it worth recommending! The movie is one hour, thirty minutes in length.
My Rating: 8/10
List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections
Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) – Bette Davis – Pocketful Of Miracles (1961)
Coming Up Shorts! with… Peep In The Deep (1946)
(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)
Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.
Welcome to my new feature on various theatrical shorts! Sometimes my comments will be on shorts included as extras on a disc set I am reviewing, and other times, they will be completely unrelated to the movie being reviewed (and I will try to indicate which). Hope you enjoy!
(Length: 7 minutes, 37 seconds)
Popeye and Olive go diving for a sunken treasure, but stowaway Bluto is also after it. A fun short, apparently a remake of the 1935 “Dizzy Divers” (which I haven’t seen)! Harry Welch doesn’t do as well here as Popeye, being a little too different than some of the previous shorts, but it’s still fun enough. Watching Bluto try to stop Popeye from getting to the treasure (while Popeye doesn’t even know Bluto is there) is fun, and certainly allows for a good time here (and it’s a cartoon, so you know they do some goofy stuff underwater that wouldn’t happen in the real world)!
And stay tuned for more of Coming Up Shorts! featuring more of Popeye (and the eventual post on the entire 1940s Volume 2 set), along with other shorts!
2 thoughts on “Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2020) on… Another Man’s Poison (1952)”
I hadn’t heard of the Bette Davis film before, and now I can’t wait to see it. It may not be perfect, but it sounds like Bette does here what she does best: to carry the movie. Thanks!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Well, I certainly enjoyed her performance here, and I really wasn’t much of a fan of hers until a few months ago! So I hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to see it!
LikeLiked by 1 person