A remake of the Swedish film of the same name (see entry 55092), MGM's A Woman's Face was reshaped into one of Joan Crawford's best vehicles. Told in flashback from the vantage point of a murder trial, the story concerns a female criminal whose face is disfigured by a hideous scar.
The plastic-surgery removal of this disfigurement has profound repercussions, both positive and tragically negative. The film's multitude of subplots converge when Conrad Veidt, Joan's lover and onetime partner in crime, is murdered.
Melvyn Douglas costars as the beneficent cosmetic surgeon who becomes Joan's lover, while Osa Massen appears as Douglas' vituperative wife. Making his American screen debut in the role of Veidt's father is Albert Basserman, who spoke no English and had to learn his lines phonetically.
Both A Woman's Face and its Swedish predecessor were based on Il Etait Une Fois, a play by Francis de Croiset.