The Bigamist (1953)

Starring Joan Foutaine and Ida Lupino, who also directs, The Bigamist spends most of its time explaining how traveling salesman, Harry Graham, played by Edmond O’Brien wound up married to two women. A commenter on IMDB captures the plot well writing:

Harry and Eve Graham are trying to adopt a baby. The head of the agency senses Harry is keeping a secret and does some investigating. He soon discovers Harry has done an unusual amount of traveling from his home in San Francisco to Los Angeles. Harry gets tracked down in LA where he has a second wife and a baby. Via flashbacks, Harry tells the adoption agent how he ended up in two marriages.

From imdb:

Harry’s second life is revealed by the adoption agency head played my Edmund Gwenn, who’s most known for playing Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street.

I thought the film would show more of how the women reacted to their husband’s other marriage and how he got into the courtroom. Instead the majority of the film is about how lonely Harry seeks out a beautiful, witty woman in Los Angeles. His wife is infertile and now spends too much time on their business. Then her father gets sick and needs her. Harry can’t take the neglect.

He meets Phyllis, a spunky, hardened woman and is attracted. Of course, he fails to mention that he’s married. One night, things go too far. He realizes he’s done wrong so he stops calling Phyllis after then night of passion. Stoic to the core, Phyllis never contacts Harry to tell him she’s pregnant. Actually, I doubt she had any means of contacting Harry. They always met at the restaurant she worked at or he came and picked her up. In time, Harry decides to look Phyllis up and learns that she’s “in the family way.” Now he decides to do the right thing, though at this stage the right thing isn’t right. He still loves his wife so he juggles two lives.

It’s a novel storyline and I enjoyed Fontaine, Lupino and Gwenn. I wish there had been more scenes after Harry’s bigamy is revealed so that I could see more of the women. What do they want now? Have either given up on Harry? I hope they realized they’re both too good for him, but we don’t know.

About smkelly8

writer, teacher, movie lover, traveler, reader
This entry was posted in Film, New Year's Movie Challenge and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Bigamist (1953)

  1. smkelly8 says:

    Reblogged this on Mixed Media and commented:

    A pretty good film with a different storyline, that kept my interest.

    Liked by 1 person

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