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 ... See full summary »
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Edward G. Robinson,
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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 <email@example.com>
Swift, scary update on the "Had I But Known..." theme
A toothsome little potboiler whose 65-minute length doesn't seem a second too short, My Name is Julia Ross harks back to an English tradition of things not being what they seem -- Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes is one example. Out-of-work Julia Ross (Nina Foch) finds a dream job at a new employment agency in London, whose sinister representative seems very anxious to ascertain if she has living relatives or a boyfriend. After reporting to duty, she wakes up (Having Been Drugged) in a vast Manderley-like pile on the Cornish coast, supposedly as the barmy-in-the-crumpet wife of George Macready, who displays an alarming interest in knives and ice picks. His doting, enabling mum is the irresistible Dame May Whitty (this time a model of bustling efficiency on the other side of good-vs-evil than she occupied in The Lady Vanishes). The nightmare vision of this tale unfolds claustrophobically; we know what's going on but are powerless to tell poor Julia. This movie, curiously, is regularly accorded a place of honor as one of the earliest (and very few British) films noirs. I think it's closer to the Gothic old-dark-house tradition than the American one of wet cobblestones and urban corruption; it does, however, evince a more modern, psychoanalytic cast of mind. Whatever you call it, it remains a sharply satisfying thriller.
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