REPEAT PERFORMANCE. 1947

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I enjoyed this murder mystery with a touch of fantasy.
Joan Leslie is a leading Broadway actress who shoots her husband Louis Hayward on New Year’s Eve, then gets to live the year leading up to the murder over again, to try and change the ending!

Despite all her efforts,things don’t go as she planned .Her husband is still dead at the end of the re-run year. Knowing the future doesn’t help her.
Her friend ( played by Richard Basehart), at the end says,“Destiny’s a stubborn old girl. She doesn’t like people interfering with her plans.Anyway,I don’t think she cares about the pattern as long as the result is the same.”

Joan Leslie

Joan Leslie

This isn’t All About Eve but all the theatrical characters are there – producer Tom Conway ,carrying a torch for his star,Joan; Virginia Field as a playwright ready to have an affair with Joan’s husband; Natalie Schafer,a rich patron of the arts who takes a shine to Richard who plays a struggling poet; Louis Hayward as the writer who’s had one hit play and taken to the bottle while his wife becomes more and more successful (cf Star is Born).

Louis Hayward

Louis Hayward

I think Joan Leslie is a competent if lightweight actress and I don’t think she was strong enough for this role. She was only about 22 in 1947 ( amazing to think she had already made over 20 films by then and costarred with Gary Cooper,James Cagney and Fred Astaire).
I’m always impressed by Richard Basehart, and Louis Hayward is always good. I don’t recall seeing Virginia Field before and liked her.

Virginia Field

Virginia Field

Perhaps a little too long at 90 minutes, this is a Bryan Foy ¬†production ( for many years Foy was head of the Warners ‘B’ film unit).
Definitely not done on a shoestring,this Eagle-Lion release deserves to be out on dvd.

8 responses »

  1. Sounds interesting – I like theatrical settings – and has a fine cast. Hayward sounds like he has another of those no-good parts which he seemed to excel in, and Tom Conway is always a welcome presence for me.

    Pity there’s no DVD – I’d buy it.

  2. For a long time I had difficulty thinking of Basehart as anyone but Admiral Nelson in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, as that was how I’d first seen him on countless Saturday mornings on Irish TV when I was a little fella.
    I remember thinking he was quite good in The House on Telegraph Hill, a film I need to revisit at some point.

  3. I’ve been impressed with Basehart’s acting in HE WALKED BY NIGHT,TENSION,TIME LIMIT,THE SATAN BUG. And HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL.
    Repeat Performance was his first film .

  4. So glad you had the opportunity to check this film out. I really enjoyed seeing it a couple times at screenings this spring. It had great atmosphere. I’d love a DVD release!

    Best wishes,
    Laura

  5. Haven’t seen The Hard Way recently but remember it being very good,John.

    Enjoyed your excellent review of Repeat Performance,Laura and envy you seeing it on the big screen! Sorry I’m not so keen on Joan Leslie in this film.
    Fingers crossed for a DVD release.

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