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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>
In a 1988 interview about this movie, Nina Foch said the idea that Dame May Whitty had George Macready as a son was "hysterically funny in a bizarre sort of way." See more »
When Sparkes calls Mrs. Hughes from the employment agency, she begins dialing the phone with the writing end of her pencil. In the next shot she's dialing with the eraser end. See more »
Mrs. Hughes - Ralph!
[She motions for Mrs. Hughes to look. Ralph sitting is in a chair, using a knife to slice a lacy garment into shreds]
[He looks at her briefly, then continues slicing]
Put that knife away!
[Again he pauses, but then continues with the knife]
Try to remember - if it weren't for your temper, you wouldn't be in this awful trouble today.
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I can second the emotions of other comments about this taut thriller. It's extremely well-acted, especially by Nina Foch, a fine actress whose close resemblance to Ann Baxter may have limited her opportunities.
George Macready, man of the golden voice, is good as poor Marian/Julia's "husband". His mother's reactions to his violent psychopathic tendencies are among the film's best moments. Dame May Whitty is at her best as the scheming, protective mother.
The film does NOT seem too short. Its only fault is an over-reliance on convenient plot devices like a sleeping draught, a nightdress tossed out the window, a mysterious cat, an intercepted letter etc. Yet Lewis's direction is noteworthy for its economy and for the way he generates Hitchcockian suspense without overdoing anything. Three years later, Dame May Whitty would also appear in Columbia's THE SIGN OF THE RAM, in which she embodies a meddlesome busybody. That film and MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS would make a fine double-bill.
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