- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Ho Hum-Give Me a Check, Sir!
Don't have a whole lot to judge this as a noir. Perhaps "noir" at the time of this film was still being explored and figured out on all levels, actors, directors, screenplay writers, etc. But this movie seemed flat, strained, and not well acted. Sunset Blvd was the first noir I've seen from that time period, perhaps it's clouding my judgement of this one. Bette Davis seemed bored with the role and seems to carry on with silent film nuances that don't do it for me as a viewer watching a movie with sound. Her mannerisms seem more stage or silent film worthy in this one. Maybe it was the times, maybe it was this movie, but it really did seem as if Bette was looking for a paycheck, not lauds.
Underrated romp with Davis and Merrill
Poorly received at the time by audiences and critics, Another Man's Poison is very entertaining today. Fresh off their success in All About Eve Davis and Merrill wanted to do a film together, and this is it: a noir mystery set in the English countryside containing all the elements of a great English "whodunit." Both characters have guilty secrets that bind them together played out in a dark country manner house. Davis and Merrill are good together. The scene where they knock each other around the bedroom is archly hilarious, and possibly echos what was going on in their real home judging from things she said and wrote later. "Poison" is an underrated Davis treasure not to be missed by her fans. An interesting side note: Emlyn Williams, who plays the country veterinarian, wrote the play The Corn Is Green which her 1945 fim was based on.
This film was just too dark for me to truly enjoy...and then I realized that helps makes it really wonderful noir genre. Ongoing creepy feelings as the characters make just really ugly choices for themselves and others. I never want to watch it again, but grudgingly glad to see it this once. Five Stars.
Enjoy Betty Davis every time I watch this one. She creates new twists every ten minutes to figure her way through men and murder.
- Daniel R Brooks
And delisiously enteraining.
Sure, it's rather weak, odd and stagey. But it works! Definitely worth watching.
Curiously One of My Favorites
Although most of the film viewing world doesn't agree with me, "Another Man's Poison" is right at the top of my list of Bette Davis favorites. I own the DVD (it's already out and has been for a while), so I've watched it many times. The film noir aspects are so well set and filmed. The very idea that we're inside one of Bette Davis' homes makes this film all the more intriguing. This is not one of those oppulent sprawling Hollywood mansions. It's a British-looking, very old home with stone walls inside. Perfect for the darkness of the noir. Space in the rooms are small and cozy. The sprawling part is outside of a sliding glass door covered with very heavy brocade curtains. It's like a flat lake of sorts with no other homes in sight. During daylight, in town, if it can be called a town it's so small and quaint, it looks like the British countryside. Davis & Merrill co-star for the 1st time, but Davis handily out acts Merrill. Even though she's been a very bad person, Davis makes me empathsize with her character so much that I don't want her to get caught for what she's done. It seems justifiable because of the way she's played the character.
Great Film Noir w/Davis & Merrill on DVD
Set in their own home, this is one of the better 1950's film noirs I have seen setting-wise and acting-wise. Merrill is obviously no match, acting-wise for Bette Davis, but it is titilating to see them on screen as co-leads. Williams gives his usual terrific supporting performance. This time, as far as the plot goes, it is a key one. I would rate this an A+ film noir, especially because of Bette Davis' just post "All About Eve" Oscar sweeping performance. It is already on DVD!
Already on DVD Because It's Great
Val Guest's script is a stunner in every respect for every character in this film. Here's one fine example: Janet Frobisher (Bette Davis, playing the lead): "You asked a pretty question; I've given you the ugly answer." Succint is the word I'd use for the dialogue between Davis and Merrill in their first co-leading film together as a married couple. Their own home makes for the perfect setting for a film noir. Davis' performance is so far beyond Merrill's that it's kind of obvious that he won't be "Mr. Davis," as she put it in her post-stroke autobiography 35 years after this was made. This is already on DVD!
Fascinating Film Noir
For some reason this Davis and Merrill film noir has been underrated for eons. It's already on DVD. A Castle Hill Production and distributed by Image Entertainment, Inc. It was released through United Artists. Davis plays mystery writer, Janet Frobisher. Gary Merrill (Davis' 4th and last husband at that time) plays an escaped convinct, George Bates. Bates is blackmailing her. The noir setting is inside of one of Bette Davis' own homes. This is one of my favorite 1950's Bette Davis films. It's dark, mysterious, sinister, captivating, and extra well directed (by Irving Rapper) and cast. The cinematography has the usual classic noir features; but, makes a panaramic contrast between inside the home and outside, of the sprawling, lush, English countryside. My highest recommendations to lovers of films noir.
Much Better Than Advertised
Bette Davis and Gary Merrill team up as co-leads for a spellbinding noir murder mystery. What I can add to the film synopsis is that the setting is the home of the lead actors, and as such there is a very comfortable feeling about how both Davis and Merrill move about inside of it. I really like the role that Bette Davis plays because she's quite complex. She herself is one of the mysteries.
Post-"Eve" Film Noir with Davis & Merrill
For the first time, Davis and Merrill both got top billing while they were married. Their own home is the setting of most of the film and a lovely, cozy older home it is. Just right for this film. Merrill's the villain and Davis is not saint. Watching them go at each other is perversely delightful knowing that they're married in real life. This is Davis' show since Merrill can't hold a candle to Davis' acting skills. I love noirs and this one's quite good. It should be released for purchase and shown on TCM.
A Fine Film Noir
Knowing that the indoor setting for the bulk of the noir aspects is actually Bette Davis' home makes "Another Man's Poison" have a most authentic feel about it. The dark stone walls, heavy brocade curtains, modest furnishings in each small room without sparce, sprawling, scoured, shinny new spaciousness to spare all lend to the noir backdrop. The real life couple who live in that home aren't the couple who are supposed to be living there. Only Janet Frobisher, a mystery writer, whose husband's been in prison, had been living there. After George Bates (Gary Merrill), escapes from prison & comes to meet with his partner in crime, Frobisher's husband, he finds him dead & hold's her hostage in her own home. Merrill bullies Davis around. As usual, she resists, even though he's decided to pretend to be her husband. Emyln Williams plays her neighboring doctor who's frequently dropping in. Her secretary & finacee' aren't so easy to convince that Bates is her husband since Janet's in love with him, unbeknownst to his betrothed. There's only one romance in this film: between Janet & Fury, her beloved horse. Davis has brought the usually Warner crew onto the project, such as director Irving Rapper. A must own which IS on DVD.
"Payment on Demand" was Bette Davis' follow-up film after her all time classic, "All About Eve." Robert Osborn usually says the follow-up film to the classic is all important. Interestingly, this film is more of the "Eve" follow-up than "Payment." I'm nuts about this one. I'd go so far as saying it's one of the best films noir. Davis and Merrill, in their own home, provide a very class act. I'm way into the films by real life partners. This one is Davis and Merrill's 1st co-leading film. It's awesome that they used their own home for the noir setting. Bette's acting is so superb there are no words to match. She gives her all yet again. Plus she's still donning that every so lovely Margo Channing appearance.
Davis and Merrill's 1st Co-Lead
This is Bette Davis' film all the way, even though her husband at the time, Gary Merrill's he co-lead. He can't hold a candle to Davis' complex performance. There's usually something unique when a real life couple co-leads in a film. That element does happen. The feeling of being insiders in their real lives does occur. Merrill's performance isn't bad at all. It's just that Davis' is so far beyond his. But, that's to be expected at this point in Davis' career. She's really got no match at this point, she's so perfected her skills.
Film Noir Par Excellance
Probably because Bette Davis had finally escaped from being controlled by studio systems, this film passed under the public's radar screen. It's a top knotch film noir murder mystery. Miss Davis plays the lead as a writer who's living alone on her English countryside (actually Davis' own home), until her husband escapes from prison and returns home. Gary Merrill (Davis' 4th & last husband) plays his partner who's also escaped & shows up at their home too. It's fascinating to watch the real married couple acting as adversaries in their own real home which is perfect for the noir effects.
Should Be Considered a Classic Film Noir
By the time Bette Davis was 44yo, her acting career was so successful it had already become legendary. She was married to Gary Merrill and these were their first co-leading roles together. Davis broke away from Warner's so this was her film. It shows in the best of ways. It's a film noir fittingly set inside of Davis' real home. Murder, being held hostage, faking marriage to a escaped convict & forbidden love are all part of the plot. Davis is in her prime age, appearance & career wise. She plays off of Merrill with such skill that her character's hate for him is seething.
Fabulous Murder Mystery
Another kind of wife for Bette Davis to play, the murderous kind. This was Davis' breakaway film from the studio system; hence, we didn't hear about it! Big mistake to hush it up because there's no keeping this one hidden for long. It's too rich. We've got Davis & Merrill doing a Taylor & Burton type of intense, tight, real couple in love who hate each other on screen. Add to it that Bette Davis' home provides the noir setting. Any Davis or Merrill fan will throughly enjoy getting to peak inside their real home. Any noir mystery fan won't be disappointed with a fine film.
Top Knotch Noir
This film is remarkable in many ways. The noir effects are created within Bette Davis' own home. Going there, into her home with her, has an effect upon me that I can't describe. The walls are dark stone, rooms are small, seems like everything's within reach. The outdoor countryside is sprawlingly vast, in contrast. The plot is seething hatred, murder, masquerade, and Davis becomes a hostage in her own home. Love itself is destroyed, if not poisonous. Davis and Merrill deliver performances of a power struggle between different evils.
A Very Intimate Film Noir
The setting's inside the Davis-Merrill home, in 1952. The couple who owns the dark, old, shadowy home play the leads. I'm being given extraordinary access to the inner world of my favorite actor of all time: Bette Davis. She's already made the film of a lifetime ("...Eve"), still looks like Margo Channing, her husband's got top billing with her this time & it's quite obvious they're very comfortable in their unpretentious home. The plot, script, setting & performances exceed expectations. Davis gives us intimate access into her real life.
Another Man's Poison
This is an important Davis film which shemade with her English husband (Gary Merrill)in England soon after their success in All About Eve.It should have been released on DVD longago!