Harry (Edmond O'Brien) is a freezer salesman torn between the comforts of wives Eve (Joan Fonatine) and Phyllis (Ida Lupino). Harry and Eve want to adopt a child, but before they can, the adoption agency must conduct a background check. The investigator (Edmund Gwenn) plays a hunch and ambushes Harry at his second home, with Phyllis, in Los Angeles. From here, The Bigamist rolls out in flashback fashion, explaining how Harry got himself into such a marital pickle.
In a different era, Ida Lupino - at the time, she was just the second female to ever direct a Hollywood feature - might have been given the space to hone her raw talents behind the camera. As an actress, she had already developed an insider's understanding of movie art. By the time of They Drive By Night (1940) and The Sea Wolf (1941), it was the big boys - George Raft & Edward G. Robinson - that were elbowing for the spotlight with her! (There are even rumors that she stepped in for Nicholas Ray when he went ill during the filming of On Dangerous Ground).
For The Bigamist, Lupino filtered Larry Marcus's story through a noir-ish haze of work-a-day L.A. The cinematic doom typically affiliated with street thugs and g-men gets handed over to the plight of an average man that just wanted to have a family... oops! he got two! The first meet-greet of Harry and Phyllis (his second wife-to-be) is on a Homes Of The Stars bus tour. Lupino cleverly frames the couple's encounter as if it's two awkward fools riding the school bus on the first day of class.
Lupino's underrated craftiness, as well as her willingness to take on taboo subjects - such as rape, in her film Outrage - at a time when the production code was rockin' the screens, demands a reevaluation of her career and a much MUCH better availablity of her films on DVD.
[NOTE: The current DVD version of The Bigamist, that Netflix stocks, is crappy ... it looks like a 1984 VHS copy transferred to DVD. I don't know if this is the only DVD version on the market or not, but be warned. ]