Watch Black Widow
- 1 hr 35 min
Black Widow is a suspenseful crime drama from 1954 that boasts an all-star cast. The lead, Ginger Rogers, plays a successful Broadway actress named Lottie Marin, who takes in a talented young writer named Nancy (Peggy Ann Garner) as a protÃ©gÃ©. But when Lottie is murdered, Nancy, who was the last person to see her alive, becomes a prime suspect, and a web of secrets begins to unravel.
The film begins with Lottie holding a party in her luxurious Manhattan apartment. It's clear from the start that Lottie has a lot of enemies, as each of her guests seems to have a past with her. Among the partygoers are Peter Denver, played by Van Heflin, a smarmy Hollywood producer who had a tumultuous affair with Lottie years ago, and Iris Denver, played by Gene Tierney, Peter's alcoholic wife who is still bitter about her husband's past relationship with Lottie.
Into this mix comes Nancy, a naive but talented writer who has been struggling to make it in the big city. Lottie takes a shine to Nancy and offers to help her get her first Broadway production off the ground. But when Lottie is found dead the next morning, Nancy becomes a person of interest to the police.
The rest of the film is a tense cat-and-mouse game between Nancy, who is desperate to clear her name, and Peter, who seems to be trying to frame her for Lottie's murder. As Nancy delves deeper into Lottie's murky past, she begins to uncover dark secrets about Lottie's relationships with both Peter and Iris, as well as a mysterious lover from Lottie's past named DeWitt (Reginald Gardiner).
Ginger Rogers delivers a masterful performance as Lottie, a complex and often unlikable character who nevertheless commands the screen with her charisma and talent. Van Heflin is equally captivating as the smooth-talking but conniving Peter, and Gene Tierney brings a heartbreaking vulnerability to her portrayal of Iris, a woman whose life has been destroyed by her husband's infidelities.
But perhaps the standout performance in the film comes from Peggy Ann Garner as Nancy. Garner was only 22 at the time of filming, but she imbues her character with a mix of youthful naivete and steely determination that makes her both sympathetic and compelling. Nancy is a character who is constantly underestimated by those around her, but she proves herself to be a formidable opponent when it comes to unraveling Lottie's secrets.
The film also benefits from its stylish direction by Nunnally Johnson, who infuses the proceedings with a sense of glamour and intrigue. The lavish party scenes at the beginning of the film are particularly impressive, as are the scenes set in Lottie's chic apartment. The cinematography by Charles G. Clarke is equally impressive, with a number of inventive camera angles and visual motifs that keep the film visually engaging.
Overall, Black Widow is a captivating thriller that holds up surprisingly well today. Its themes of ambition, jealousy, and betrayal are timeless, and the performances from its stellar cast are nothing short of exceptional. If you're a fan of classic Hollywood cinema or suspenseful crime dramas, Black Widow is definitely worth a watch.
Black Widow is a 1954 mystery with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.