Harry and Eve Graham are a loving couple whom have decided they want to adopt a baby. Harry works as a travelling salesman, spending much of his time on the road, so the two of them go to the adoption agency to start the process. Mr. Jordan, the man responsible for determining if the Graham's are responsible enough for an adoption, begins to investigate the Grahams, ultimately discovering that Harry has been living a double life in which he is married to two woman in Eve and Phyllis, a woman who lives in Los Angeles. These days much has been made about the lack of female directors in Hollywood and while the argument isn't without merit, its funny how seldem Ida Lupino is mentioned as a pioneer. Ida Lupino is one of the most criminally underrated filmmakers of her time, regardless of her sex, and while The Bigamist isn't as groundbreaking as some of her other work, it once again shows Lupino's desire to tackle the social taboos which existed in society. The Bigamist is told mostly via flashback, as Harry attempts to explain his unique situation to Mr. Jordan after he is caught red-handed. While the flashback narrative device is pretty standard practice, the approach does give the viewer some nice insight into the character as he tries to explain his point-of-view. Harry lives the lonely life of a salesman who spends most of his time on the road, alone looking for something to do with his life. We learn that his second marriage is more out of man's lack of companionship than carnal pleasures. The Bigamist certaintly doesn't advocate this type of dual-lifestyle nor make excuses for Harry Graham but it still manages to be sympathetic to Harry Graham as a man. Lupino also seems to suggest that Eve is the type of woman who emasculates Harry to some degree with her steadfast, career-driven attitude, the "brain-to-his-brawn" as Harry himself describes it in the film. We are given a few small but important scenes subtlely showing this lack of affection in their relationship, due both to her attitude and his profession which puts him constantly on the road and away from her. The Bigamist makes a rather signficant point about Harry, in that while there is no doubt that what he did is wrong, he didn't simply treat Phyllis as some misteress, but a woman whom he clearly cared about. Lupino closes the film perfectly, with a final shot showing that Eve still loves Harry - how she stands at the back of the courtroom, unable to merely walk away like Phyliss, watching Harry being taken away by the authorities. Ida Lupino was never afraid to challenge the social norms of the society around her, and The Bigamist is another solid example of that.
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