Review: Beautiful Stranger
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital: Beautiful Stranger (AKA ‘Twist of Fate’) (1954)
Making her British film debut, Ginger Rogers stars as ‘Johnny’ Victor; an ex-actress living the life of luxury on the French Riviera, thanks to the money and adoration of Louis Galt (Stanley Baker), a wealthy businessman whose dealings are not always on the right side of the law.
When Johnny discovers that Louis is not the man she thought he was and has been lying to her about his business dealings and the divorce he was going to get from his wife, so begins a series of events that puts more than one persons life at risk.
Beautiful Stranger has enough going on in the narrative to keep you interested, but its uninspired direction and semi-noir tone makes the whole thing feel a little flat.
The performances are fine, with special note to Stanley Baker as the conniving Louis Galt, and also to Herbert Lom as the down on his luck Emil Landosh; a man always in need of money and doesn’t care how he gets it.
Jacques Bergerac as Pierre Clemont (Johnny’s new love after she has a near fatal car accident after arguing with Louis) certainly fills the ‘handsome young man’ role, but his acting leaves a lot to be desired. Which is understandable as this was his first movie appearance. At least the chemistty between himself and Johnny is good…which it should be as he was married to Ginger Rogers at the time.
Neither a decent Noir, nor thriller or love story, Beautiful Stranger is a jack of all trades yet sadly a master of none.
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