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Joseph H. Lewis
Julia Ross secures employment, through a rather-noisy employment agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her house. Two days later, she awakens in a different house in different clothes and with a new identity. She is told she is the daughter-in-law of Mrs. Hughes and has suffered a nervous breakdown. She soon learns that the son of Mrs. Hughes, Ralph, has murdered his wife, disposed of her body and, with his mother's help, plans to pass Julia off as his wife. And then plans to eventually kill her and pass it off as a suicide. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Having watched this film strictly on the strength of reviewers' ratings I was most pleasantly surprised. Although clearly low-budget, it bears the signs of clever ingenuity. For example, when Julia wakes in the strange house and looks out the window I found myself thinking that her sense of isolation would be enhanced with an exterior shot focused on her face and then moving backwards to include the house and its isolated location. And lo and behold! the next scene was exactly that last shot of the house standing lonely on the cliff at the water's edge. There are other examples of how a clever director can elevate his film to the level of a very enjoyable thriller. Savvy viewers will surely spot them but should rest assured they will not be disappointed.
As to the performances, George Macready is his usual creepy self, barely maintaining his composure while suggesting a capacity for unadulterated violence. Nina Foch was surprisingly good as the no-nonsense working girl who's not about to submit without a fight. But Dame May Witty, oh boy, she even had me doubting my own eyes and believing she could get away with her evil schemes.
This a real diamond in the rough and not to be missed.
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