Tuesday, March 05, 2019

A Simple Twist Of Fate-Anne Baxter’s “Bedeviled” (1955)- A Film Review

A Simple Twist Of Fate-Anne Baxter’s “Bedeviled” (1955)- A Film Review With The Late Steve Forrest In Mind      

DVD Review

By Fritz Taylor

Bedeviled, starring Anne Baxter, Steve Forrest, 1955

When murder, murder one if you thought about it, is involved you never know exactly who is, and who is not, capable of that heinous crime. Or who will step in to muddy the waters. That is the gist of the murder mystery under review, Bedeviled, that simple twist of fate which separates out the good from the bad. A very catholic idea.

And that small letter catholic idea gets a work-out in this vehicle. A young man of the cloth, a seminarian, Gregory, played by Steve Forrest is off to Europe, to France, to Paris to go through the last steps before ordination attempting to cancel any doubts about his choice. On the flight over he meets a fashion designer, Francesca, who “comes on” to him since he was wearing civilian clothing. After landing he and one of his fellow seminarians with whom he was travelling meet their priest host who invites them that evening, that fateful evening to dinner. The fateful part being that unaware of how to get around Paris he hails a cab, a cab in which Monica, a chanteuse from America, played by Anne Baxter, erratically and with some suspicion about her, enters the same cab.              

From that point the chase is on. Monica is a woman with a secret, a secret that she will only divulge to Gregory by the coffee-spoon full. He is both good looking and sympathetic by inclination so goes through a few rings of hell with her, including an attempted seduction, before she confides that she had by turns witnessed a murder, and eventually that she had murdered her fiancé who turned out to be married which had unhinged her. Not unhinged was that fiancé’s brother who was out for revenge and would not take no for an answer Somehow after finding out that Gregory was a priest she “got religion” and decided to tempt the fates. For that wrong move she paid with her life. Before she expired she sought forgiveness for her sins to Gregory. Not a great film but an interesting twist with a priest as a knight-errant. A change from their usual portrayal in the 1950s when they were as likely to run from the danger as to it and would fill the world with ideas about forgiveness, forgetfulness and worrying more about making a good act of contrition that getting a break in this life, the life they know that they have to survive.               

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