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The Guilt of Janet Ames (1947)

 -  Drama | Mystery | Romance  -  6 March 1947 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 221 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

Got problems? Need a shrink? Call an alcoholic reporter instead. Janet Ames is a war widow who deeply resents the five buddies of her husband, whom he died to save, although she only knows ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
...
...
Katie
...
Susie Pearson
Charles Cane ...
Walker
Harry von Zell ...
Carter
Coulter Irwin ...
Junior (as Bruce Harper)
Arthur Space ...
Nelson
Richard Benedict ...
Joe Burton
Frank Orth ...
Danny
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Storyline

Got problems? Need a shrink? Call an alcoholic reporter instead. Janet Ames is a war widow who deeply resents the five buddies of her husband, whom he died to save, although she only knows their names. She is approaching a café where the first of the five men, whose names are on a list in her hand, is employed. Her plan, whatever it was, becomes somewhat secondary when she is ran over by a truck and is taken to the hospital unconsciousness. There, in one fell swoop of an amazing coincidence, she is identified by Smithfield Cobb, a reporter addicted to drink---probably because of his name---who also happens to be the fifth man on her list. She regains consciousness but is unable to walk, although the best medical minds in the building say she has no personal injury that prevents her from walking. Smithfield sees right off that her problem is mental, and he decides he will cure her by using psycho-analysis and suggestion---the man came equipped---to wipe away her perception that the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

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Release Date:

6 March 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

My Empty Heart  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Serious, Earnest, Dares To Be Different. But It Is Still Bad
27 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A common plot in 30s and 40s cinema is the jaded writer/actor/director of comedies who is tired of writing/acting/directing light fluffy stuff, and want to try his hand at real drama. (Think Sullivan's Travels, or the Bandwagon). Of course, it always turns out that the great serious drama is worthless, lousy, or unintentionally funny. In these films, we usually see only a few moments of the drama (or just hear the title), but can surmise the unrelenting awfulness of the play or movie.

Well, in case you were curious -- here is the movie/play all those failed serious artists were making. It is deadly serious -- all about the mental problems of those who went to war and the mental problems of the women who were left behind. It is told in the most up to date manner -- there are long extended scenes that take place in the united subconscious of heroine Rosalind Russell and hero Melvyn Douglas. There is much moody photography. There is a lot of embittered drinking (mostly by Melvyn). And the words "neurotic" and "Freud" come up a lot. There is even extended references to the play "Peter Ibbetson", which are vital to the plot.

The only things missing are believable, worthwhile characters, a sense of humanity by the authors, or anything resembling a life force -- er -- sense of humor. (There is a bit by Sid Cesar that is intended to be funny. If you like late-period Jerry Lewis or Danny Kaye, you might be amused.) I can tell, by the roles Roz was taking at this time (her next movie was Mourning Becomes Electra-- in which she is quite good) that she was trying to get away from the paint by numbers lightweight stuff she got stuck into after her turn in The Women. Nevertheless, this humorless horror does not show her to best advantage. Mevyn Douglas has an almost unplayable role. Nonetheless, he does as good a job with it as you might expect.

If you like classic movies -- you won't like this. It's not fun, and it is far too impressed with itself.

If you like more recent -- independent film -- you still won't like this. It dares to be different, but buys into every conventional post-war trope about a woman's place.

In other words, this one should be buried and forgotten. Unless, like me, you've got to see everything.


8 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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