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William A. Seiter
Thelma Jordon is in love with a jewel thief, Tony Laredo, and he persuades her to go live with her rich aunt, and steal her jewels. During the robbery, she shoots her formerly-rich aunt, but makes it look like an outside job. Cleve Marshall, an assistant district attorney, is assigned the case, promptly falls in love with Thelma (and she with him), and he maneuvers and presents the state's case against her in such a manner that she wins an acquittal. And, then, Tony shows up. And nothing, from this point, works out favorable for THelma, Clive or Tony. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The File On Thelma Jordon turns out to be an extensive one indeed. Had Wendell Corey examined it more fully he might never have gotten into the jackpot he did.
A lot of critics compare this film with that other Stanwyck classic, Double Indemnity. There are certainly elements of that story in The File On Thelma Jordon. But I also see a lot of resemblance as well to the Dick Powell-Lizabeth Scott-Jane Wyatt noir film, Pitfall. If you've seen that one it involves a married, but bored Dick Powell casually drifting into an affair with Lizabeth Scott and getting sucked into some criminal enterprise. Joan Tetzel steps into the role of the wronged wife and was every bit as good as Jane Wyatt was in Pitfall.
One desultory night as Wendell Corey is working late and getting helped along with a little libation, in pops Barbara Stanwyck to the District Attorney's office to complain about the lack of action the police have been giving to her complaints about someone trying to break into her house where she and her elderly aunt live. Corey's state of inebriation seems to be loosening any moral restraints and Barbara leaves him hooked and begging for more.
So when the elderly aunt is in fact murdered, Corey doesn't think like an officer of the court, but instead he's using the gray cells in his male member to make decisions. He winds up prosecuting Stanwyck and paying for high priced defense attorney Stanley Ridges on the side. By the way Ridges is one shrewd article and suspects what's up, but keeps his mouth shut.
Paul Kelly is in the Edward G. Robinson role as another member of the District Attorney's office who realizes this case has far more layers to this than originally thought.
The film is definitely one that should satisfy Barbara's legion of fans.
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