Seeing double

Pictured: Olivia de Havilland and Olivia de Havilland as twin sisters Terry and Ruth in Robert Siodmak’s The Dark Mirror.  Considering it was made in 1946, it sports some pretty impressive effects work.  Watching the film for the first time—the premise of which, according to the typical pop-Freudianism of Hollywood, is that the evil Terry has spent her life harboring murderous jealousy toward the good Ruth—it occurred to me that this might have been one of the inspirations, along with the more obvious Rear Window and Psycho, for Brian de Palma’s Sisters (1973), in which Margot Kidder plays, or appears to play, a pair of mentally disturbed twins.  De Havilland is quietly chilling as the manipulative Terry; this was the same year that she won an Oscar for To Each His Own.  (De Havilland will turn one hundred in July, by the way.)

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