REVIEW: A Stolen Life (1946)

Title: A Stolen Life
Release Year: 1946
Genre: Drama
Cast: Bette Davis & Glenn Ford
Plot: Kate & Patricia are identical twins who fall in love with the same man; Bill, but he marries Patricia. Kate later pretends to be her twin and Bill realises he married the wrong sister.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️_


Ever since I was little I had always loved films with twins because most of the stories involved them swapping places, so I was thrilled to find quite a few classics with this concept. This film is one of my favourite twin films, especially because Bette Davis and Glenn Ford are in it.

"A Stolen Life" is one of Davis's best performances of the 1940s. The story is about a woman falling in love with a man and losing him to her twin sister. After tragic circumstances though, she decides to pose as her sister and win him back.

Bette Davis is one of the best actresses to portray two completely opposite personalities (Kate, the sweet, shy & insecure sister and Patricia, the insensitive, pretentious & mean one) and she made them very believable. I can't think of anyone in her place. At times I forget the same actress is playing both. Also partly because the direction and great effects were convincing.
This was the first and only time Davis produced a film. She insisted they get Glenn for the starring role.

Glenn Ford was perfect for the role. I love his acting because he never overdoes it and he always adds real expressions and human intricacies that weren't necessarily scripted. That's why when I feel sorry for him, I feel really sorry for him because it looks so real. Even when he's honest and says something that sounds mean, he does it like any man with good intention would without acting on it, as though it were something obviously rude.

Walter Brennan as the stuffy old man was brilliant. I've only seen him in comic parts before this so I didn't recognise him at first. Actually I used to think he was two different people because he sometimes acts without his fake teeth hahaha

Charles Ruggles plays the twins' cousin. As soon as I saw him in the film, I knew it would be good or at least his part would be. Even though he's a supporting actor, he always plays an important part in any film he's in as he did with this one.

The storyline was great, except for one unnecessary side story about Kate's friend - an unknown angry artist- which didn't even progress and I'm glad for that. It could've easily been cut out.

The ending was perfectly romantic but I couldn't help but feel sorry for Kate because it's shame that looks are more important to people than personalities. Even though they looked identical, Patricia wore herself better than Kate. She was more attractive and that was what bill fell in love with.
I think if someone doesn't want me for my personality, I'd be more hurt than if it were about my face - but that would hurt too hehe just not as much.

In 1947, both Bette Davis and Glenn Ford reprised their roles for a radio broadcast version of the film. Would love to find that. I've never listened to a story on the radio before. I'm curious how it turned out.

I highly recommend this film especially if you're planning on watching Davis's 1960s version of a twin-swapping story. Rasha and I laughed so hard when we watched that one because it could've easily been an extension of this film if some things had turned out differently. I'll explain it when I review "Dead Ringer", 1964.


  1. Love your review...very detailed as usual, and makes me want to watch it again and again and again. But why did you give it 4/5 stars?
    Walter Brennan’s false teeth hahah...He looked like a completely different person with and without them. He could’ve easily played twins!!!

    1. hahahha yes he could have!!! I gave it a 4 because of the crap artist. He slowed down the story and took a big portion of the film.

    2. He was too annoying...and his look and acting was too modern...I hated it!


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