A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.
Olivia de Havilland,
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Assistant District Attorney Cleve Marshall, depressed about marital troubles, is drowning his sorrows in a bottle of whiskey when the mysterious and alluring Thelma Jordon walks in to report an attempted burglary. The two become romantically involved and not long afterwards there is a burglary and murder at Thelma's aunt's house. Cleve is drawn further and further into defending and covering up for Thelma. It soon becomes clear that this road will only lead to disaster. Written by
The children acting as Wendell Corey's children in the film are actually his real-life children. See more »
Cleve Marshall sits down at the desk opposite Miles Scott and says "Can't talk 'til I have another drink." Scott picks up the whiskey bottle and pulls out the cork before handing it to Marshall. Marshall picks up the bottle and again pulls out the cork. See more »
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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