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Man with Two Lives

USA 1942
produced by
A.W. Hackel for Monogram
directed by Phil Rosen
starring Edward Norris, Marlo Dwyer, Eleanor Lawson, Frederick Burton, Addison Richards, Edward Keane, Hugh Sothern, Tom Seidel, Elliott Sullivan, Anthony Warde, Ernie Adams, Kenne Duncan, George Dobbs, Lois Landon, Frances Richards, Jack Buckley, Jack Ingram, George Kirby, Charles King, Tristram Coffin
written by Joseph Hoffman

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Only hours after he has announced his engagement to his girlfriend Louise (Eleanor Lawson), Phil (Edward Norris) is involved in a carcrash and killed from heart failure caused by shock. Fortunately though, his brother Reg (Tom Seidel) and Doc Clark (Edward Keane) have just perfected the method to make hearts beating again, and they immediately start working on Phil, even with the approval of his father (Frederick Burton). Only psychoanalyst Toller (Hugh Sothern) is against it, because he thinks there might be problems with Phil's soul, but he's of course outvoted.

Thing is, Toller was right, as once back alive, Phil is no longer inhabited by Phil's soul but that of an especially violent criminal executed just at the moment Phil was revived. And now Phil stops at nothing taking over his old gang again and getting back together with his moll Louise (Eleanor Lawson) - and he succeeds on both accounts, even if it takes him a murder or two. After a while though, Phil's gangmembers get curious, and eventually, one of them, Hugo (Anthony Warde), finds out Phil's true identity (which he has kept as a secret all along of course) - which means that Hugo must die, and even Louise, whom Hugo has spilled the beans to.

Killing Hugo was Phil's fatal mistake though, since Hugo had a brother whom he has told about Phil's real identity as well, and the brother now goes to the police to tell everything. At the next heist of Phil's gang, the police lies in waiting, and in the shoot-out that ensues, Phil's entire gang is killed, only he escapes - and hides out with his family, which is a perfect cover - or so he thinks, because detective Bradley (Addison Richards), who comes for a visit under a pretense, is wise to him of course and now tries to lure Phil into betraying himself - and Phil walks right into the trap, and in his desperation he shoots Bradley before taking his own family hostage - but his father, who has only now come to the conclusion that his son is no longer his son, grabs Bradley's gun and shoots Phil dead ...


Ok, the premise to this film is utterly ridiculous - but if you can overlook this, the film hiding behind it isn't too bad, a low-budget yet tense gangsterflick in which craftsman director Phil Rosen's direction actually seems almost inspired at spots, and in which most of the cast are up to their tasks at least. Now don't misunderstand me, this is no masterpiece for sure, but if you are able to see beyond the corny sci-fi/horror elements, you'll at least be entertained.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
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Michael Haberfelner


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