On trial for murder, Larry Ballantyne regurgitates an unbelievable story. He recounts how he philanders to other women while his rich loving wife Gretta tries to keep him in line. According... See full summary »
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On trial for murder, Larry Ballantyne regurgitates an unbelievable story. He recounts how he philanders to other women while his rich loving wife Gretta tries to keep him in line. According to Larry, his girlfriend Verna dies accidentally in a car crash and his distraught wife tosses herself over a cliff after he runs out on her. The jury has a tough decision on this one. Written by
Gary Jackson <email@example.com>
While the Femme Fatale is not a necessary ingredient to make a film 'Noir', it can serve as an interesting point of departure in discussing some films.
The only real problem one might have with THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME is the casting of Robert Young in the lead. What was Young's appeal, how did he get to be such a big star? Would these three lovely women really find this particular penniless creep that attractive? Like Mr Doyle below, for the first 20 minutes I kept trying to re-cast him in my mind--Mitchum could have pulled it off very well. Young's lack of charisma notwithstanding, this film has a very enjoyable flashback structure and a VERY NOIR sense of enclosing doom around an admittedly well-played cad protagonist. There is a wonderful sense of Noir irony in this film: his 'problems' seem to resolve themselves, then they turn back on him.
What I am going to suggest is that this is a film in which the male protag is his own 'Femme Fatale' (the French might say 'Homme Fatal')--the women here are only victims, with Jane Greer as a falsified accomplice. As Eduard Franz says in THE SCAR, "There is no escape. Sooner or later it will catch up with you". THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME's final irony is one for the noir books: hokey, perhaps for some, but nicely pulpish, and rather satisfying.
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