Hey folks, Valkor here. After spending some time with classic cartoons, I've shifted gears and have moved on over to classic films. And thanks to the folks at Warner home, we have two great vids comin at ya. The first of which is a film starring Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, and Alexis Smith in "The Two Mrs. Carrolls" – digitally remastered for your pleasure.
While on a fishing trip in Scotland, Geoffrey Carroll (Bogart) hooks up with Sally Morton (Stanwyck). Together they're having the greatest of times, but as quick as the fun starts, it ends when it's revealed that Geoffrey is married with a child. This doesn't work with Sally and she runs off. However time passes and the current Mrs. Carroll goes off to "meet her maker". and in steps in the new Mrs. Carroll – Sally. But old habits are hard to break as Geoffrey seemingly falls for a new woman, Cecily Latham (Smith). And soon Sally starts to experience similar symptoms that the former Mrs. Carroll displayed. Is there a connection? There is, but not in the way that you might think. Spoiler Alert!!
Geoffrey is an aspiring artist and whenever he paints a picture of his current wife, he feels he no longer has a need for her and wants to move on to someone who gets his juices going again. So while making a play for the new woman, he slowly poisons off the old one. Tragic!
In all honesty, this is actually my second Bogart film I've watched, with the first being "Casablanca" (Now that's a classic). But how does The Two Mrs. Carrolls hold up against it? Let's find out in the TOV Breakdown!
As thrillers go, The Two Mrs. Carrolls rank pretty high for me on the intensity scale. True it's a slow build up, but when it picks up, it really gets going. The overall plot is quite solid, with a few misses (more on that later). The acting chops of Bogart, Stanwyck, and Smith as well as the remaining cast are well enough to carry the story and hold your attention. I especially love the dialogue, and what doesn't sound cool coming out of Bogart? The film has been remastered for audio/video and it looks and sounds great with some sweet contrast and deep blacks. The audio is Dolby Mono with everything coming out crystal clear (though you may have to turn it up a notch). Finally the ending or should I say Bogart's last line, where he asks the cops if they would like a drink, "a glass of milk perhaps"… priceless!
Again the pacing of the story slows down the intensity of the suspense. It does pick up towards the end, but you might miss a scene or two should you happen to doze off. Some subplots seemed a bit out of place, such as the buying the poison/blackmail between Geoffrey and Blagdon, also any scene with the daughter (too smart for her own age, but can't piece together the fact that her dad is poisoning mom? Kids!). I know this is nitpicking, but those were my issues with the film.
The Two Mrs. Carrolls DVD is available now as part of the Warner Bros. Archive Collection, and anyone interested in classic films should definitely consider adding this to the rotation; while it's not perfect, it's still a great thriller that still holds up. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give The Two Mrs. Carrolls a 3.5 and it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!