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Twist of Fate

Twist of Fate(1954)

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Former actress Joan "Johnny" Victor is living in a villa in Cannes, courtesy of her lover, financier Louis Galt, who has promised to marry her when his divorce becomes final. However, Louis' wife Marie, who with her brothers controls Louis' business, is concerned about his extravagant expenditures and insists that he go to Paris to discuss matters with her brothers. Unknown to Johnny and Marie, Louis is the head of a gang producing counterfeit gold coins. One evening, while gambling at a casino, Johnny runs into Emile Landosh, whose wife once worked with Johnny but is now confined to a sanitarium. Emile is in desperate need of cash to pay for his wife's treatment so Johnny lends him some of her winnings. The next day, at a hairdresser's, Johnny overhears Marie talking with a friend and discovers that Louis' divorce is far from being a reality. Johnny feels cheapened and confronts Louis, who tries to reassure her that all will be resolved soon. She becomes distraught, however, and driving away in a fury, wrecks her car. Seeking help, she approaches a nearby house, where ceramic artist Pierre Clement is hosting a small party. Pierre arranges her return to the villa, and Louis orders her never to run off again. After Louis leaves for Paris, Johnny and Pierre meet again by chance, and he begins to teach her how to create objects on his potter's wheel. Meanwhile, Louis' henchman Luigi is pressuring Emile, who is one of the gang's members, to repay money he owes. One night when Johnny and Pierre are together at his house, Emile breaks into Johnny's villa, discovers a safe, cracks it and steals an expensive bracelet Louis gave to Johnny. Later, when Louis returns from Paris he tells Johnny that his divorce will soon be final and that he has given up his business. After he puts half a million dollars in the safe, he tells Johnny that they will be going away to start over. Louis plans to leave on his yacht, under cover of darkness, with Luigi and the presses for making the counterfeit coins. However, when Luigi shows him the bracelet Emile gave him in payment of his debt, Louis immediately recognizes it as the one he gave to Johnny and suspects her of having an affair with Emile. When Pierre asks Johnny to marry him, she agrees, but says that she will have to break the news to Louis. Later, Emile returns to the villa for more loot and is concealed there when Louis confronts Johnny with her infidelity. Johnny assumes that Louis has found out about Pierre when in fact he is talking about Emile. Louis flies into a rage and threatens to have her lover killed, and they struggle until Johnny agrees to go away with him. After Emile sees Louis throw the bracelet at her, he realizes that Louis thinks that he is Johnny's lover and runs off. Later, Johnny phones Emile, who is packing, and while seeking his help in preventing a confrontation between Pierre and Louis, inadvertently reveals that Louis will be returning to the villa for the cash in the safe. Meanwhile, Marie tells Louis that her brothers have informed her that he has stolen company funds and is involved in criminal activities and states that she pities him. Later, at the villa, Emile is removing the cash from the safe when he is surprised by Louis, brandishing a gun. Emile tries to convince Louis that he is not Johnny's lover, but as they struggle for possession of the gun, it goes off, killing Louis. After Pierre and Johnny meet by accident at the harbor, where they are both seeking Louis's yacht, they drive to the villa to talk with Louis. While Emile is hiding Louis' body, he sees a ceramic vase Johnny made and decides to dispose of the body in the kiln at Pierre's studio. While the couple is in the house, Emile puts the body on the floor of the back seat of Johnny's car, then leaves to collect his own car, which is parked some distance from the house, and follows them back to Pierre's studio. Meanwhile, alerted by Marie, the local chief of police begins an investigation. Emile parks away from the house and while Johnny and Pierre are inside, stokes the kiln in an adjacent building, then drags the body to it and attempts to burn it. However, Emile's coat, containing all the cash, catches fire, and he frantically tries to extinguish it. Johnny and Pierre hear the commotion, and Pierre struggles with the hysterical Emile, who collapses sobbing as the coat is totally consumed. Pierre and Johnny then tie up Emile, put him in the back seat of the car and leave to deliver him to the police. Luigi, who has been waiting for Louis at a rendezvous point on the coast, flags down the car, and startled to find Pierre at the wheel, takes out a gun. Pierre surprises Luigi, however, and, as they fight, Emile, who has managed to untie the ropes, runs off. Pierre knocks out Luigi then catches Emile and they fight. Just as Luigi recovers and takes off, the police arrive and shoot him. Emile is about to crush Pierre's skull with a rock when Luigi, with his last breath, shoots him. As he dies, Emile tells the police how Louis died in the struggle for the gun. After the chief of police tells Johnny and Pierre that they are free to go, they look forward to a happy future together.