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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>
BARBARA STANWYCK was fast becoming the mistress of film noir, especially after her scintillating turn as the deceitful woman who sets a trap for Fred MacMurray in DOUBLE INDEMNITY.
Here she sets a similar trap for WENDELL COREY, an unhappily married man who is trying to forget his wife and children with booze and self-pity. When Thelma strolls into his office asking for help, he can't resist the temptation to give her all his attention--and then some.
It's standard film noir material again for Stanwyck, and she handles it like a pro. But there's an almost predictable way the script toys with its main characters and you can almost see the ending is not going to give Stanwyck a chance to get away with her schemes, which include murdering her rich aunt and getting rid of her lover.
It's directed in almost too leisurely fashion by Robert Siodmak who fails to make it the taut, tense mystery it could have been. As it is, it holds the attention firmly during the last twenty minutes but there are a lot of lapses in the screenplay that cause some dull spots.
As the romantic lead, WENDELL COREY doesn't have the star power that Fred MacMurray had and that's part of the trouble. But since it's Stanwyck's film all the way, it's not that much of a drawback.
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