Adultery -- United States -- Drama, Bigamy -- United States -- Drama, Traveling sales personnel -- United States -- Drama

The Bigamist

Archival Print


Ida Lupino, Edmond O'Brien, Joan Fontaine, Edmund Gwenn,

In The Bigamist, Edmond O’Brien is a salesman whose icy wife (Joan Fontaine) runs the business (freezers) while he travels. He becomes involved with a warm and spunky waitress (Ida Lupino) and, when she has his child, marries her out of a sense of propriety. Thus he embarks on a double life, commuting between two marriages, two classes, and two cities: Fontaine’s patrician San Francisco and Lupino’s lively, slightly shabby Los Angeles. The story, told in flashback, unfolds in director Lupino’s characteristically taut style, its mounting tension exacerbated by her cutting observation of behavioral detail. Presenting the two women as polar opposites (or perhaps two sides of one woman?) is both engaging and problematic; but as a film about the emotional spread of a middle-aged man, The Bigamist is remarkable. The moot point here is the moral efficacy not of adultery or bigamy, but of marriage.

Judy Bloch
  • Collier Young
Based On
  • a story by Larry Marcus, Lou Schor

  • George Diskant
  • English
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 78 mins
  • Paramount Pictures
Additional Info
  • Preservation print courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View The Bigamist documents  

Ida Lupino : hard, fast and beautiful (program note), UCLA Film & Television Archive, 2002

Ida Lupino: a reel woman (press release), Pacific Film Archive, Judy Bloch, 1992

Ida Lupino in a new light (program note), Art Institute of Chicago. Film Center, Barbara Scharres, 1987

The bigamist (program note), Athens International Film and Video Festival, 1981

The bigamist (review), Variety, Brog., 1953

A tribute to Ida Lupino (program note), Theater Vanguard

Ida Lupino: director (distributor materials), Ivy Film/16

The bigamist (distributor materials), Filmakers Releasing Organization

The bigamist (program note)

The bigamist (review), Films In Review

Displaying 10 of 10 publicly available documents.

View all The Bigamist documentation on CineFiles.