#DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party | September 1 – 30, 2017
Film Viewing Parties & Other Celebrations
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The Bigamist – IDA LUPINO: INDEPENDENT WOMAN
September 2, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 2:18 pm EDT
The Bigamist (1953) directed by Ida Lupino
Hoping to grow their family through adoption, travelling salesman Harry Graham (Edmond O’Brien) and his wife Eve (Joan Fontaine) apply to a kindly but thorough agency worker (Edmund Gwenn), who, in the course of his background checks, stumbles across Harry’s secret: a second life with a second wife (Ida Lupino) in Los Angeles. Tackling a taboo subject that would be ripe material for an exploitative melodrama, Lupino instead shows much sympathy for the well-meaning but deluded Harry as she reveals what led him to this bizarre deception. Acting opposite her good friend Fontaine (who, in an odd refraction of the film’s story, was at this point married to Lupino’s ex-husband and producing partner Collier Young), Lupino once again shows her trademark toughness and vulnerability in front of the camera while displaying a sure and steady hand behind it. The last feature that Lupino directed for her independent production company The Filmakers before moving into television for most of the rest of her career, The Bigamist is “an oddball gem[:] a woman-made ‘woman’s picture’ that avoids sentimentality and obvious emotion, a low-budget film that eschews genre convention and revels in top-drawer acting talent” (David Kalat, Turner Classic Movies).
One of Warner Bros.’ top stars in the 1940s, Ida Lupino moved behind the camera as an independent director-writer-producer to create a series of bold, challenging films on then-taboo subjects.
35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.