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Portrait in Black

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Title: Portrait in Black  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: 1960 in film, Lana Turner, Ray Walston, Richard Basehart, Sandra Dee, Anna May Wong, Virginia Grey, Devil's Slide (California), Lloyd Nolan, Ivan Goff
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Portrait in Black

Portrait in Black
VHS cover
Directed by Michael Gordon
Produced by Ross Hunter
Screenplay by Ivan Goff
Ben Roberts
Based on the play Portrait in Black 
by Ivan Goff
Ben Roberts
Starring Lana Turner
Anthony Quinn
Music by Inez James
Buddy Pepper
Frank Skinner
Cinematography Russell Metty
Edited by Milton Carruth
Distributed by Universal International
Release dates
  • July 23, 1960 (1960-07-23) (Chicago)
Running time 112 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $3,600,000 (US/ Canada)[1]

Portrait in Black is a 1960 American neo-noir crime drama/thriller film directed by Michael Gordon and starring Lana Turner and Anthony Quinn. Produced by Ross Hunter, the film was based on the play of the same by name by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts who also wrote the screenplay. The film was distributed by Universal International. This was the final film appearance by veteran actress Anna May Wong.[2][3]


Sheila Cabot (Lana Turner) becomes increasingly disturbed as she cares for her ailing, disagreeable husband (Lloyd Nolan). Along the way, she falls in love with Dr. David Rivera (Anthony Quinn), who is tending her husband. This leads to a series of unfortunate events, resulting in the death of the husband and an ensuing murder investigation.


Production notes

Portrait in Black was filmed on in and around San Francisco, including a sequence at Devil's Slide on the Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1).[4]

Home video release

Portrait in Black was released on DVD in Region 1 as a Lana Turner double feature with Madame X by Universal Studios Home Entertainment on February 5, 2008.

The play

The film was based on a play which premiered in London at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1946 and had a short run on Broadway the following year. The writers, Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, had worked on it for 13 months.[5][6]

Film rights were sold almost immediately for a reported $100,000.[7]



  1. ^ "Rental Potentials of 1960", Variety, 4 January 1961 p 47. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.
  2. ^ Portrait In Black at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  3. ^ Anna May Wong at the Internet Movie Database.
  4. ^ Portrait in Black at "San Francisco Movie Locations from Classic Films". Accessed: July 29, 2013.
  5. ^ The Independent. Obiturary, Ivan Goff, September 28, 1999. Accessed: July 29, 2013.
  6. ^ Portrait In Black at the IBDb. Accessed: July 29, 2013.
  7. ^ "Big Royalties for Australian Playwright in USA.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 23 January 1947. p. 5. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 


Schwartz, Ronald. Neo-Noir: The New Film Noir Style from Psycho to Collateral, 2005 (Portrait In Black listed on p. 127). Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Maryland. ISBN 9780810856769.

External links

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