Search - Deception on DVD

Director: Irving Rapper
1hr 52min

AN AUTHENTIC REGION 1 DVD FROM WARNER BROTHERS. — SYNOPSIS: — The three stars (Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains) and director (Irving Rapper) of Now Voyager reunite for this glamorous, angst-ridden melodrama set to a ...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Irving Rapper
Creators: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1946
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

Claude Rains Tour de Force!
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 04/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Wow! Any fan of classic movies must own a copy of this one, if only for Claude Rains' amazing performance. This man was brilliant in all of his films, but this slice of ham is truly high art from the Claudester. His character is an egotistical, sexy, flamboyant conductor with the improbable name of Alex Hollenious. He spends his time lazing about in a dressing gown, petting a pillowed kitty and taking biting innuenedo/sarcasm to a level previously unseen on screen. No wonder Bette Davis was infatuated with this man in real life, as she proclaimed to all and sundry. If his power in real life was 10% of what he exhibits on screen, then swooning is the definite order of the day.

In Deception, Rains plays Bette Davis' former lover and he won't let her forget it. Bette foolishly marries the dreary, deadly dull and insipid Paul Henreid, just as she did in Now, Voyager. One wonders why Bette was always making these ridiculous mistakes. She's still in love with Claude, however, since she makes two lengthy visits to his bedroom within one day of her wedding to Henreid. When she tells Rains, "it looks like you haven't been to bed," he snaps back, "That, my dear, is no longer any of your business."

Even more amazing is that the Hays office let some of this type of dialogue slip by unnoticed. Rarely has a film of this era contained so many explicit (and funny) sexual references. When Bette visits Claude in his home while he's eating dinner, he says with devilish deliciousness, "Oh, my dear, you look positively majestic. I think I'd better remain seated." It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out what he really meant, especially when coupled with his salacious facial expressions. High camp indeed! There's another moment after Bette's marriage to Henreid that Claude is begging her to stay with him and keep their affair going. With a leering smile he says, "You can have us both, you know." Mr. Breen of the Hayes office was definitely asleep at the control panel when Warners pushed this baby through.

The highlight of the entire movie is a hilarious scene of 7 minutes in a restaurant. Claude orders and re-orders various ridiculously rich foods and says things like, "We'd like a brook trout, not too large. From a good stream." He also fusses endlessly over whether to order partridges with truffels or glazed partridges soaked in Madeira. He finally decides on a "woodcock!" Bette and Henreid look on with rueful expressions because this type of acting blows them out of the water. Truly, this is one of the most adroitly acted scenes in movie history, a scene to cherish. I've read several times that the restaurant scene is Dick Cavett's favorite scene in movies. No wonder.

There is an option of having additional commentary, and the fellow claims "Bette Davis allowed Mr. Rains to steal this scene." Pardon me, but as riveting as Bette was, there's no way she's going to eclipse Rains in any movie, as she herself freely admitted. The commentary is interesting, but focuses mostly on gushing over Bette's wardrobe, histrionics and general Bette worship.

The film itself is fairly good but very dull when Henreid shows up, but you treasure this one for Claude Rains' performance. If there's been a better actor in movie history, I've never seen him."
Michael C. Smith | San Francisco, CA United States | 05/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It would be a unforgiveable deception to tell you that this Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains vehicle is anything but top rate glossy soap bubble popping high drama. A rainy day is the perfect time to watch this film, late afternoon when the light seems like it will last forever giving you that trapped in time feeling. This film evokes that effect through out. Wonderful light, and so much of it takes place in twilight, or in rain, and in the deepest inky night.

It may not be considered a film noir in the classic sense but it certainly, as shot by the incredible Ernest Haller; it looks like one and one of the most gorgeous of the style. It is more like a Woman's Noir with its story of a basically good woman driven by her deceptions to do bad things, very bad things.

Without a shadow of a doubt this is one of Claude Rains most entertaining, sharp, insightfully and wicked performances. He is pure joy to watch as he manipulates each person he comes in contact with in the story. He is the rotten, jealous petrified hard center of this poison soufflé. Bette Davis is wonderful of course and is dressed to the nines but what is remarkable to see is the fun she is having as she hands the film over to Mr.. Rains. They made so many wonderful films together and he is obviously someone she admired and loved to work with. She is strong and exciting in the role but she gets out of the way and lets him have his day.

And yet beyond all of this there are two reasons I love this film. It has a remarkable classic Hollywood score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and features his now famous "Hollenius' Cello Concerto" as well as music by Beethoven, Wagner and Schubert. The music is as much a star of the film as anyone else. And in the commentary you will learn how the magic of Hollywood was employed to make the non-musical Henreid play that violin and not look like he is trying to saw it in half, and that Bette Davis could indeed play the piano just as she does in the film.

Then there is the incredible and even inspiring set design. The loft that Davis lives in is forty years ahead of it time. It is an incredible set and must have inspired interior designers in some subliminal way over the years, for now in cities across America that look is so in vogue. The industrial concrete walls and the slanted floor to ceiling glass wall overlooking the city juxtaposed with a mix of modern furniture and antiques. It is timeless decorating, visually magnificent, barren, cold and full of dark corners where secrets can be hidden. In short a perfect design for this film.

If you are a Steve Martin fan see if you can spot the scene he borrowed from "Deception" so that he could act with Bette Davis in his very wonderful "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid." Whether working with Claude Rains or Steve Martin, Bette Davis lets both men shine as she casts her mega-watt star power over them.
Second rate Davis but good package
Douglas M | 05/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Deception" was the last half decent Bette Davis vehicle from her glorious Warner Brother's years. Released in 1946, the film was based on a 2 character play called "Jealousy". Unfortunately, censorship robbed the film of credibility and the phoney ending just doesn't work as Davis herself recognised. Until then though, the film has some great features:

- an outstanding over the top performance by the great Claude Rains playing a composer/conductor named Hollenius. Rains, as Davis always acknowledged, steals the film.
- great sets, costumes and lighting creating a plush world among the operatic arty set in New York.

The DVD print is excellent and there are some good extras. The commentary is intriguing, carefully noting how the problems behind the scenes, including Davis's troubled private life (she was pregnant at the time) and insecurity about her looks contributed to the tension visible on the celluloid. There is a coloured short film about adventurers riding the Colorado river rapids and one set in Hollywood which puts together technicolour numbers from previous shorts dating back almost 10 years. Jane Wyman sings one of the songs and shows she was a competent singer. The cartoon is an hilarious gem as a mouse outwits Porky Pig. Don't miss when the mouse takes on a mechanical cat. This is animated perfection. Lastly, there is the original trailer of the film plus another Davis opus, "A Stolen Life".

The DVD is excellent value and even better if purchased as part of the Davis Set Volume 3."
Deception Delivers
Martin Asiner | Jersey City, NJ | 04/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"DECEPTION is probably as good as a melodrama can be and still remain one. Bette Davis, Paul Heinreid, and Claude Raines reunite from NOW VOYAGER with Davis and Heinreid as unlikely lovers in a failed relation and Raines playing against type as an over the top megalomaniac whose hamminess stole each scene from Miss Davis, who usually did the stealing but in this case had to surrender to Raines' tsunamis of biting witticisms. Miss Davis has a good life in post World War II New York as a music teacher who need not struggle with financial woes as she is the mistress of a very obnoxious but wealthy egotist. Out of the clear blue sky her former lover (Heinreid) appears in a concert as a cellist. She had thought that he was killed during the war but there he is. As they hug each other in happiness, Heinreid quickly figures out that Davis' opulent living style could not come from her meager earnings as a piano tutor. Enter Raines as the jealous sugar daddy who is determined to crush their renewed vows as faithful lovers. But it is the means of this crushing that elevate DECEPTION as a very high order of melodrama. Raines is loud, sarcastic, pushy, yet apologetic each time quite insincerely for all that. A funny scene occurs in a fancy restaurant where Raines treats Davis and Heinreid to an expensive dinner. He first orders one meal, then changes his mind, orders another, changes his mind yet again, before deciding on HIS choice, knowing all the while that his delaying tactics are irritating them to no end. We can hardly understand why Davis was attracted to Heinreid in the first place. He is moody, volatile, even given to outbursts of abuse as he nearly chokes Davis in a fit of rage. The warm low key mutual attraction that they shared in NOW VOYAGER is nowhere here apparent. By contrast, we can easily understand her attraction to Raines. His very qualities of aggressive mind tinkering have their peculiar lure to women who have known only lumpen clods like Heinreid. She even visits Raines one day after her marriage to Heinreid supposedly to demand that he cease to exhibit the very qualities of pushiness that she finds so alluring. If Raines is the magnet and Davis the iron filings, then Heinreid is sticks of splinters that no one else seems to want. The plot is insane, of course. Only Hollywood writers could come up with such a melodrama, but we watch DECEPTION not for that but for the torrent of words and hand wringing that accompanies them. The ending which I shall not here reveal is total illogic, but by then, who cares about such mundane things like obvious evidence to a crime that the script writers leave hanging in the air. DECEPTION is a fine roller coaster of a film that proves yet again that a dearth of logic can easily be supplanted by a plethora of acting talent. In this case, it was Claude Raines that is that plethora."