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STANLEY BAKER AND GINGER ROGERS IN 'BEAUTIFUL STRANGER'

Title: BEAUTIFUL STRANGER AKA TWIST OF FATE Year: 1954 Rating: ***1/2

"I stole it... I am innocent," Herbert Lom says to Stanley Baker... One's a gambling con artist and the other a rich businessman/secret criminal, both connected to central star Ginger Rogers... 

Baker's her supposedly single fiance and Lom a friend that bums money and steals jewelry, specifically a bracelet that ignites the alternate-titled TWIST OF FATE involving Rogers's real life husband Jacques Bergerac as not only a proud-poor artist but a different kind of Wrong Man, more a Mistaken Man...

Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with Ginger Rogers

This British production has a famous American (most do) and is set in Bergerac's territory of Cannes, so BEAUTIFUL STRANGER imitates the lavish melodramas from Hollywood's Golden Age... 

Which is actually a shame since Baker, who would often play intense yet interesting, fleshed-out characters... bad, good or in-between... is somewhat one-dimensional as the heavy despite starting out romancing the hell out of Rogers before literally smacking her in the face....

Jacques Bergerac and Ginger Rogers in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER

Yet the film's mostly known for Rogers and Bergerac, whose convenient romance includes flirtatious (pre-GHOST) pottery-making while the crime story (including a weaselly Eddie Byrne) gets secondary treatment... 

And with future HELL DRIVERS Baker and Lom brimmed with raw, deceptive energy, BEAUTIFUL should have stretched beyond the Rogers/Bergerac marriage that wouldn't last the decade... yet it's still a neat 90-minute programmer, part noir but mostly soap, making this STRANGER a bit too shiny and clean for the otherwise gritty crime genre.

Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with Ginger Rogers
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with Ginger Rogers
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with Eddie Byrne
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with secret wife Margaret Rawlings
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with secret wife Margaret Rawlings
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with secret wife Margaret Rawlings
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker and Eddie Byrne in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Jacques Bergerac and Ginger Rogers in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Eddie Byrne and Herbert Lom in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Herbert Lom in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with Ginger Rogers
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with Ginger Rogers
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker and Eddie Byrne in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker and Eddie Byrne in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker and Eddie Byrne in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Stanley Baker in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER with Hell Drivers co-star Herbert Lom
Jacques Bergerac and Ginger Rogers in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER
Eddie Byrne and Ginger Rogers in BEAUTIFUL STRANGER



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