Twist of Fate (film)

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Twist of Fate
Beautiful Stranger FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Miller
Produced by Maxwell Setton
John R. Sloan
Screenplay by Carl Nystrom
Robert Westerby
Story by David Miller
Alford Van Ronkel
Starring Ginger Rogers
Herbert Lom
Stanley Baker
Jacques Bergerac
Music by Malcolm Arnold
Cinematography Edward Scaife
Edited by Alan Osbiston
British Lion Films
Marksman Productions Ltd.
Distributed by United Artists (US)
British Lion Films (UK)
Release dates
  • July 13, 1954 (1954-07-13) (London)
  • November 5, 1954 (1954-11-05) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English

Twist of Fate (also known as Beautiful Stranger) is a 1954 British and American mystery film noir directed by David Miller. It stars Ginger Rogers and Herbert Lom.[1]


Joan Victor, an actress known as "Johnny" to her friends, is living in Cannes, France, where she and financier Louis Galt plan to marry as soon as he gets a divorce.

Marie Galt and her brothers run Louis's firm and have become suspicious of his business methods. Marie is unaware that Louis is actually ringleader of a gang that deals in counterfeit gold coins.

In a casino, Johnny runs into Emile Landosh, an acquaintance. He claims a need for money due to his wife's medical bills, so Johnny offers him a loan. Emile, however, is actually a criminal and in debt to Louis.

After overhearing Marie and realizing Louis might be lying about the divorce, Johnny confronts him, then angrily leaves and drives her car off the road. She seeks help at the home of Pierre Clement, an artist. The two begin seeing each other, Pierre teaching her how to use a pottery wheel.

Luigi, a thug who works for Louis, is pressuring Emile to repay what he owes. In desperation, Emile breaks into Johnny's villa and steals a bracelet. When he gives it to Luigi, it arouses suspicions from Louis that his lover and Emile must be having an affair, because he'd given it to Johnny as a gift.

Pierre proposes marriage to Johnny and she accepts. Emile overhears an argument between Johnny and Louis and eventually realizes that she believes Louis has found out about Pierre, whereas he actually suspects Emile.

Emile is caught trying to crack a safe. During a struggle, Louis is shot with his own gun. Johnny and Pierre arrive just as Emile is trying to hide the body. They tie up Emile and are driving him to the police when they are intercepted by Luigi. A policeman shoots Luigi, but he is still able to kill Emile.



The film was known during production as Lifeline. Walter Rilla was originally cast as the male lead but he and Rogers did not get along. Said Rilla at the time, "According to the script I - a man of 52 - am supposed to have an affair with a girl of 24, who is Miss Rogers. Which is somewhat ridiculous. She may feel 24, but really . . .[2]

Rumours were rife about Roger's temperament and Rilla's dissatisfaction with the size of his role in comparison to Jacques Bergerac, who was Roger's husband at the time. Ten days into production Rilla left the film and was replaced by Stanley Baker.[2]


Critical response[edit]

The film was panned by film critic Dennis Schwartz. He wrote, "David Miller (Midnight Lace/Billy the Kid/Sudden Fear) directs this heavy-handed Brit romantic/suspense yarn that's unbelievable from the get-go and only gets more ridiculous as the plot holes deepen ... This second-rate B film plays as a third-rate B film. The acting made me roll my eyes in disbelief, the dialogue was trite and the narrative was ludicrous. No character deserved our sympathy in this turgid thriller and not one scene seemed natural.[3]


  1. ^ Twist of Fate at AllMovie.
  2. ^ a b "News from the studios.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia). 24 February 1954. p. 50. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, March 28, 2007. Accessed: July 20, 2013.

External links[edit]