Helen Ferguson, pregnant, penniless and dumped by her boyfriend Steve Morley, takes the identity of the pregnant Patrice Harkness, when she and her husband are killed in a train crash. The ... See full summary »
Helen Ferguson, pregnant, penniless and dumped by her boyfriend Steve Morley, takes the identity of the pregnant Patrice Harkness, when she and her husband are killed in a train crash. The rich Harkness in-laws, and their other son Bill, had never seen Patrice, so they accept her and her newborn son into their family. However Steve eventually finds her and starts to blackmail her. Written by
A case of mistake identity turns into a grand deception as a new mother tries to secure a better life for her child. The premise is similar to THE HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL (minus the concentration camp angle, of course). A bit predictable and a bit far-fetched, but Stanwyck's performance sells it completely, and Leisen shows a dedication to the material, bringing what might have been a rather hokey women's weepie to life. The drama is compelling from start to finish, with measured pacing and excellent camera-work. The situation keeps ratcheting up to a tense climax. Lyle Bettger is pretty great as the slimy antagonist, as is Jane Cowl as the benevolent grand dame of the household (John Lund once again comes off rather bland). If the ending seems a bit too convenient, at least it provides for a really satisfying callback.
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