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Black Widow (1954)

aka Black Widow

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 95 mins · English

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Cast:

Small Carlotta 'Lottie' Marin
Small Peter Denver
Small Iris Denver
Small Detective Lt. C.A. Bruce
Small Nancy 'Nanny' Ordway
Small Brian Mullen
Small Claire Amberly
Small Gordon Ling
No_movie_poster Mrs. Lucia Colletti
Small John Amberly
No_movie_poster Anne
No_movie_poster Police Sergeant Welch
No_movie_poster Miss Gwen Mills
No_movie_poster Police Sergeant Owens
No_movie_poster Sylvia
No_movie_poster Mr. Oliver
No_movie_poster Costume Designer
No_movie_poster Tony, Bartender
No_movie_poster Model

Crew:

No_movie_poster Leigh Harline Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Nunnally Johnson Director
No_movie_poster Dorothy Spencer Editor
No_movie_poster Charles G. Clarke Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Hugh Wheeler Story
No_movie_poster Dorothy Spencer Editing

Plot:

Peter Denver (Van Heflin) is a renowned Broadway producer attending a party—hosted by the viciously haughty and celebrated actress Carlotta "Lottie" Marin (Ginger Rogers) and her quiet husband Brian Mullen (Reginald Gardiner)—when he meets Nancy "Nanny" Ordway (Peggy Ann Garner). Ordway is a seemingly naïve, 19-year-old, aspiring writer, who hopes to make it big in New York and convinces a reluctant Denver to let her use his apartment to work during the day, while his wife is away but with permission from his wife, Iris (Gene Tierney), who is also a famous actress. When the Denvers, returning from a trip, find Nancy hanging dead in their bathroom, a variety of the people Ordway has recently met in New York begin revealing deeper and darker connections with her. Lt. Bruce (George Raft), the detective assigned to the case, soon discovers that this apparent suicide was in fact a homicide and believes Denver, quickly suspected of having an affair with Ordway, to be the murderer. Denver evades arrest and seeks clues to discover the real murderer; the case becomes cluttered when he and Lt. Bruce begin to independently realize that Ordway's dealings in New York have not been as innocent as her superficial personality. Ordway has recently stayed with an artist roommate, whose deceived brother she evidently agreed to marry, while also staying for some time with her uncle. A series of flashbacks reveal that, all along the way, Ordway was craftily piecing together a scheme that would help her climb the social ladder and, later, that would conceal the identity of an apparent secret lover, while falsely implicating Denver; this mysterious romance is confirmed by an autopsy, which reveals that Ordway was indeed pregnant at the time of her death. Everyone Ordway knew is suddenly a suspect in the murder case, including Lottie Marin and Brian Mullen, who live in the same apartment building as the Denvers. In the end, Mullen, who can no longer keep quiet to his friend Peter Denver, reveals that he was Ordway's secret lover, though he swears that he did not kill her. Having bugged Mullen's apartment, Lt. Bruce barges in, now charging Mullen with the homicide, until finally Marin admits that she in fact strangled Ordway for having the affair with her husband, and set up the killing to look like a suicide.