Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.
In a mansion in Caulfield, Illinois, Patrice Harkness and Bill Harkness are waiting for the police. Meanwhile, she recalls her life in San Francisco. The eight-month pregnant Helen Ferguson is dumped by her boyfriend, the crook Stephen 'Steve' Morley, who gives a train ticket to her to New York to stay with his new girlfriend. In the train, Helen befriends the also pregnant Patrice Harkness and her husband Hugh Harkness that are returning from Europe. When they go to the toilet, Patrice asks Helen to hold her wedding ring to avoid losing it, but there is an accident and only Helen survives. She is mistaken by the Hatkness family as being Patrice and welcomed by Mrs. Harkness, Mr. Harkness and Bill at home. Helen decides to pose of Patrice thinking in the future of her baby Hugh and the family treats her like a daughter. Out of the blue, Steve meets Helen in a club and blackmails her, promising to destroy the lives to Mr. and Mrs. Harkness. Now Helen realizes that she must kill Steve ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In-joke: Character played by Barbara Stanwyck is named Helen Ferguson; Helen Ferguson is real name of one of best-known Hollywood publicists of the era, who also represented Stanwyck. See more »
When Bill gets stuck in the slush trying to turn his car around to follow Stephen Morley and Helen Ferguson whom he has passed on the road, the rear wheels spin without traction. The front tires can be seen to have chains installed. If they had been installed on the rear drive tires, he wouldn't have had a problem and the scene wouldn't have had as much tension. See more »
[returns to car after dumping a dead body onto a moving train]
He stayed on, caught on the catwalk or whatever it is, but his hat and... came off.
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Another mistaken identity story...but a good one...
Leave it to Barbara Stanwyck and John Lund to make this film noir soap opera work on every level. Stanwyck, pregnant and unwed, meets another woman and her husband on a train, a wealthy woman going home to see her family. When the train is wrecked and the woman and husband killed, Stanwyck assumes her identity since the man's parents have never met her nor even seen a photograph of her. The plot gets thicker once Stanwyck assumes the dead woman's identity.
The picture combines the suspense of a film noir with some soap opera touches but Barbara's strong performance makes it all work. John Lund, Jane Cowl, Phyllis Thaxter, Richard Denning and Lyle Bettger are all fine in support. It's all based on a Cornell Woolrich novel called "I Married A Dead Man" with the usual touches of irony found in his work.
It's one of director Mitchell Leisen's better films (he did "To Each His Own", "Hold Back the Dawn", and many other interesting films.) Absorbing and well worth watching. Not a well-known film but it's one of Stanwyck's best.
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