Black Widow

Synopsis: A married Broadway producer is taken with an innocent young woman who wants to be a writer and make it on Broadway. He decides to take her under his wing, but it's not long before the young lady is found dead in his apartment. At first thought to be a suicide, it is later discovered that she has been murdered, and suspicion immediately falls on the producer. He begins his own investigation in order to clear his name, and one of the first things he finds out is that the young woman wasn't quite as naive and innocent as she appeared to be.
Director(s): Nunnally Johnson
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
95 min

The black widow, deadliest of all spiders...

earned its dark title through its

deplorable practice of devouring its mate.

- I hope you find your mother better, honey.

- Thank you, darling.

- Take good care of yourself.

- I'll be all right.

And you stay just as long as you think

she needs you, understand?

I will.

- Oh, did you get another bottle of vitamins?

- Yeah, I got 'em.

And don't forget

about Lottie's party.

Oh, I'm not going

to that shambles.

Now, Peter,

just a minute.

I'd just as soon go to a party

in an insane asylum.

But that's not

the point, darling.

She's the star of your show.

You simply can't treat her like that.

All right, then let her

give better parties.

What do you want to do,

hurt her feelings all over again?

- Don't you think you better get on that plane?

- Never mind the plane.

I want you to promise me you'll at least

make an appearance at that party.

With Brian and Lottie living

practically on top of us...

why, I don't want to get into a feud

with her again.

- But those people she invites.

- Just for a few minutes anyway.

Okay, okay. I'll drop in for

a minute or two anyway.

That's all that I ask. Just long enough

for her to see that you're there.

If she'll look fast enough.

I'll call you by 12:00.

Never fear.

I'll be home long before that.

And so I went to Lottie's party.

Oh, no, you don't.

You're not going to leave me

in there all by myself.

Where on earth did you and Lottie

meet all these people?

Who's met 'em?

Bring Mr. Denver a drink, will you?

- Yes, sir.

- Yours is the first face I've recognized here tonight.

- Well, where's Lottie?

- Oh, she's around someplace...

worming her way into someone's heart,

as usual, I should imagine.


Oh, darling!

I'm so glad you could come.

There's something

I've been wanting to tell you for ages.

Your husband is, without a doubt...

the worst dramatic critic in New York.

For one thing-

Oh, thank you.

What did Iris do,

break her own leg?

No, I just put her on a plane.

Her mother's sick again.

Would you like to go

out on the terrace?

Good heavens. You're not thinking

of jumping, are you?

But you don't mind

my being this frank, do you?

I couldn't be more

interested, Miss Marin.

Except my husband isn't a critic.

How sweet of you to agree with me.

No, I mean I'm afraid you've got me

mixed up with somebody else.

My husband is Franklin Walsh,

the banker.

Banker? Well, then what are you doing

in that hideous hat?

Would you mind saying

just a word or two to me?

On what subject?

I don't think it really matters.

It's just that my mother

always told me...

that if a girl could be

at a party for 30 minutes...

without getting a man

to talk to her...

she might just as well

go on home and shoot herself.

I've already been here 25.

Well, in that case,

I'll be very happy to save your life.

- You a friend of Lottie's?

- No, I don't even know her.

That's a funny thing

about New York.

Sometimes you meet the hostess

at a party like this...

and sometimes you don't.

I came to this one with another girl,

but she's disappeared.

And everybody else here

is so important.

- Are you?

- Not very.

May I ask your name?

- Peter Denver. What's yours?

- Oh, dear.

- What?

- You're important too.

- What's your name?

- Nancy Ordway.

- Actress?

- No, I'm a writer.

At least I'm trying to be.

I haven't had anything published yet,

but I'm still at it.

How old are you?


No, that's not true.

I'm 20.

I just hate to admit it.

'Cause in your 20s you ought to have

accomplished something.

I know.

Mozart had written an opera

by the time he was 12.

You know what I mean.

You ought to have shown

some talent of some kind.

- Don't you think?

- And you haven't?

Well, not yet apparently.

My last story-

Well, the editor said it was all right

to write like Somerset Maugham...

and it was all right

to write like Truman Capote...

but not at the same time.

Why don't you do like everybody else

and write like Hemingway?

I tried.

- Wouldn't you like a drink?

- No, I don't drink, thank you.

I used to, but I broke myself.

- But if it wouldn't be troubling

you too much- - What would you like?

I'm terribly hungry.

Do you think there's anything here to eat?

Well, I think I saw a tray of rather

revolting little lumps on toothpicks here.

Yes. Just a minute.

- Good night, Miss Marin.

- Oh, and do give my love to dear Benjamin.

- Franklin.

- Benjamin Franklin?

That's not possible.

What are you doing after this?

Just go on home, I suppose.

Well, could I persuade you

to have dinner with me first?

What about your wife?

- She's out of town for a while.

- Oh.

And you don't have

to read the line like that.

The invitation is for dinner only.

I'm sorry. You're very much

in love with her, aren't you?

- Very much.

- I know.

How do you know?

How could I not know?

It's a famous marriage.

Famous Broadway producer,

a famous actress.

Even in Savannah

people know that.

So all right then.

What do you say?

I'd like very much

to have dinner with you.

Okay, then let's go.

- Darling, how wonderful to see you

without your wife. - Yes. We've been-

Oh, Peter, you poor thing.

I've neglected you shamefully.

Who is this?

- One of your guests, darling. Miss Nancy-

- Ordway.

Your hostess,

Miss Carlotta Marin.

- How do you do, Miss Marin?

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Nunnally Johnson

Nunnally Hunter Johnson was an American filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed motion pictures. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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