The Dark Mirror runs the full gamut of themes currently in vogue at the box office – from psychiatry to romance back again to the double identity gimmick and murder mystery. But, despite the individually potent ingredients, somehow the composite doesn’t quite come off.
Opening with a promising gait, the pic [from a story by Vladimir Pozner] gets lost in a maze of psychological gadgets and speculation that slow it down. Olivia de Havilland, playing a twin role, carries the central load of the picture. She’s cast simultaneously as a sweet, sympathetic girl and her vixenish, latently insane twin sister. A murder is committed and while one girl has been positively identified as coming out of the man’s apartment on the night of the murder, the other establishes a fool-proof alibi.
Lew Ayres is cast in his familiar role as a medico – a specialist on identical twins. Slightly older looking and sporting a mustache, Ayres still retains much of his appealing boyish sincerity. But in the romantic clinches, Ayres is stiff and slightly embarrassed looking. Copping thespic honors, despite a relatively light part, Thomas Mitchell plays the baffled dick with a wry wit and assured bearing that carries belief.
1946: Nomination: Best Original Story