Chained For Life (1951)

Violet and Daisy Hilton are in fact conjoined twins linked at the hip. In Chained for Life they play Vivian and Dorothy Hamilton, a singing and dancing duo headlining a vaudeville show. Not stretching too far from reality, the story has one of the sisters involved in a sham marriage designed to drum up ticket sales. Unlike reality, Chained for Life begins and ends with one of the sisters on trial for murder. Between these bookends flashbacks serve as evidence and testimony. By the film’s conclusion, the fictitious judge is uncertain whether or not he could throw the guilty sister in prison without also punishing the innocent sister to the same sentence. Thankfully, he breaks the forth wall and asks us what we would do. Of course, I can’t say what would be best in the name of justice. I was too busy marveling at the Hilton sisters, not because they are freaks, but because I find it wholly inconceivable that these two women are actually twins. I am uncertain if my inability to believe that the main characters of this film are conjoined twins is a credit or a condemnation of the acting. All I know is that were these Hilton sisters alive today I am certain they’d have their own reality television show.

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