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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>
A Charming and Truly Suspenseful Little Gothic Thriller
Nina Foch delivers a surprisingly strong performance as the title character in this fun little Gothic nail-biter. She accepts a position as secretary to a London society dowager (played imperiously by Dame May Witty) and her creepy son (the effete and bothersome George Macready). Before she knows it, she awakens to find herself in a seaside manor she's never seen before, where Witty and Macready are calling her Marian and trying to convince the servants and the nearby townspeople that she's Macready's mad wife. Of course this pair can only be planning dastardly deeds, and even though we know Julia has to eventually escape her trap, director Joseph Lewis builds real suspense in answering the question of just how she'll manage it.
"My Name Is Julia Ross" has nothing stylistically to set it apart from any number of films that came out at the same time period, but I was surprised by how well it held together despite its shoe-string budget and B-movie pedigree. There are quite a few moments that just may have you on the edge of your seat, and I found myself really rooting for Julia as she caught on to the scheme underfoot and began to outsmart her captors. In any other Gothic thriller, the heroine would have swooned, screamed and dithered, waiting for her hero to come and save her. So I can't tell you how refreshing it was to have the heroine in this film use her brain and figure out how to save herself.
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