The Bigamist

A man secretly married to two women feels the pressure of his deceit.
December 2018
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Ticket Prices

$11 regular admission
$9 matinees (before 6pm)
$9 students/seniors/active military with valid ID
$8 MdFF Members
The Bigamist

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Director: Ida Lupino

Starring: Joan Fontaine, Ida Lupino, Edmund Gwenn, and Edmond O’Brien


1953, USA, 80 minutes, Digital

Language: English

Distributor: Kino Lorber

Program Notes

Celebrate the centenary of Hollywood trailblazer Ida Lupino (1918-1995) with newly-restored versions of three of her films as director: Not Wanted (1949), The Hitch-Hiker (1953) and The Bigamist (1953).

“A true maverick… She made movies with the same steely determination and emotional sensitivity that characterized her work as an actor.”
– J. Hoberman, The New York Times

“The five films she directed represent a singular achievement in American cinema.”
– Martin Scorsese, The New York Times

The first Hollywood sound feature wherein its female star directed herself, The Bigamist also marks another in Ida Lupino’s string of filmmaking efforts to squarely confront pressing, taboo social topics. This dramatic, haunting noir uniquely centers on fragile family man and traveling salesman Harry (Edmond O’Brien) torn between his matrimonial devotions to two women: the business-minded but barren San Francisco-based Eve (Joan Fontaine) and his independent, grounded (and fertile) Angelino, Phyllis (Lupino). Caught in his lies by an adoption agent, Harry’s tangled romantic yarn is spun in a series flashbacks.

“One of Lupino’s out of nowhere masterpieces.”
— Chris Fujiwara

The Bigamist is significant and powerful for its presentation of a ‘taboo’ subject matter in a melodramatic as well as a matter‑of‑fact way. The film has a documentary-style realism that conveys an emotional truth about human behaviour in both its narrative and aesthetic frames.”
— Joanna Di Mattia, Senses of Cinema

“Mysterious despite its clarity, The Bigamist represents the special quality of Lupino’s Filmakers output to the fullest.”
— Christoph Huber, Cinema Scope

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