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
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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