The Whole Truth (1958)
Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Stewart Granger, Donna Reed, George Sanders, Gianna Maria Canale, Michael Shillo
Director: Dan Cohen & John Guillermin
Release Date: September 1958
Length: 84 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: TV
My Rating: 3/5 stars
In a small town on the French Riviera, movie producer Max Poulton (Stewart Granger) tries to deal with his tempestuous leading lady, Gina Bertini (Gianna Maria Canale). To complicate their relationship, Max had an affair with Gina while his wife (Donna Reed) was in Montana during their separation. When Gina is found murdered, Max is the #1 suspect, even though Max knows the murderer is actually Carliss (George Sanders) because he confessed everything to Max! Will Max’s wife be able to help him come up with the evidence he needs to prove his innocence?
This was an interesting movie in that the murderer confesses pretty early into the film, but he confesses to the lead suspect in the murder, not to the police. The lead suspect just happens to be a wealthy producer who had an affair with the victim, a spoiled movie star and was one of the last people to see her alive. The real killer is the victim’s husband, who was humiliated and frustrated that his beautiful, young wife took so many lovers and that he wasn’t enough for her. The murderer does a really good job at setting up the movie producer, but he wasn’t quite good enough…
The plot was intriguing and it held my interest throughout most of the movie. I appreciated the fact that Donna Reed, who played the movie producer’s wife, believed in her husband (Stewart Granger) and worked with him to prove his innocence. The true villain of the piece, played by George Sanders, was great in his role. He is this sophisticated, urbane, charming, handsome, older gentleman who is last person that you would suspect of stabbing his wife to death. He really did a good job of setting up Stewart Granger, who played the movie producer. If Stewart Granger hadn’t had some help, he would have been convicted of the crime for sure as the evidence was so overwhelming.
There are a few slow parts in the movie and I didn’t believe many of the scenes as they were just too unbelievable. For example, why on earth would you agree to meet the man who you believed set you up for murder? No good could come of it and you still had no proof of the crime, although you did discover the motive. They took quite a bit of time to set the movie up and the middle sagged a bit, but the ending was quite good. There are all kinds of car chases, threats and dastardly deeds that happen at the end and end the movie with a bang! This is a relatively interesting murder mystery with a twist. If you have the chance to catch it on TV and enjoy this type of movie (black and white mysteries), this is worth your time to watch.
This movie has a lot of discussions about murder, but there are no gory details shown. They also talk about an extramarital affair, a preliminary separation between husband and wife, and smuggling religious artifacts out of Europe. Lethal car chases, drinking, and smoking are shown. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.