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In 1957, two starkly dramatic movies about a mentally troubled woman with three distinct personalities vied for attention. The second of these elevated Joanne Woodward to stardom and won her a Best Actress OscarŽ for The Three Faces of Eve. But the first, arriving months earlier and boasting a juicy role for three-time Academy AwardŽ nominee Eleanor Parker, is equally worthy. In Lizzie, from Shirley Jackson's novel The Bird's Nest, Parker is first seen as frail, sad Elizabeth, beset by headaches as well as menacing letters from Lizzie, who emerges from within as a barfly mantrap compensating for Elizabeth's shyness. Director Hugo Haas plays a caring neighbor who steers her to the psychiatrist (Richard Boone) who unlocks her disordered mind, bringing out another steadier woman named Beth. Lounge singer Johnny Mathis croons "Warm and Tender" and "It's Not for Me to Say" as wildcat Lizzie carouses, while Joan Blondell as an alcoholic aunt is the skeptical keeper of dark family secrets at the heart of the intelligent and gripping Lizzie. -

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WAA599555 Lizzie DVD (1957/Eleanor Parker) $19.99