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Conrad Veidt, Joan Crawford, A Woman's Face (1941)

This review appeared on one of my Conrad Veidt websites, conradveidtforever.wordpress.com

“A Woman’s Face” provided Conrad one of his favourite roles. “I am Lucifer in a tuxedo”, he said after playing the evil and dashing Torsten Barring. Many women fell in love with Connie after seeing him in this film, because he is diabolical and, at the same time, very handsome. He is the incarnation of the attractive danger and suave villainy. His co-star is the fine actress Joan Crawford, and they make a very interesting pairing (they worked again together two years later, in “Above Suspicion”). In this film, directed by the great George Cukor, also appears the veteran German actor Albert Bassermann, who also played with Connie in “Escape” and “Lucrezia Borgia”. Bassermann, like Connie, had enough of the Nazis and of their hatred against the Jews, so he, too, emigrated from Germany and went to Hollywood. I dare to say that “A Woman’s Face” is Conrad’s greatest achievement in the American film industry. It is obvious that he trully enjoyed to portray Barring, and his physical change is also visible. There were moments when Cukor asked him to refrain from the expressionistic overacting because he was going too far with it. After all, they were in America, not in the silent cinema of the Weimar Republic. Conrad is perfect from the beginning to the end, and he trully deserved an Academy Award for Best Actor.