One Girl's Confession (1953) Poster

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A must-see for fans of noir.
MartinHafer4 March 2010
Cleo Moore stars as a blonde with a crazy plan. Near the beginning of the film, she robs her boss. He is a jerk and she feels entitled to the money--all $25,000. But, when the cops arrive, she freely admits to the robbery and goes to jail. There, she behaves well and just bides her time--waiting until she can get out and claim the money after the heat's subsided.

Three years pass. She gets out early on good behavior and continues to bide her time. Eventually, she will have her money and make it all worth while. However, in the meantime, it appears as if one of her new friends has found and stolen this money herself--and she's determined to get that money or revenge. However, there are some dandy twists that make it well worth seeing at the end of the movie.

Overall, a clever script and one of the better film noir B-movies. Moore is excellent as a 'dame' and the film is a must-see for noir fans. Fortunately, this film is now out on DVD along with another little-known noir film, NIGHT EDITOR.

By the way, this film features an appearance by one of my favorite TV actors of the 50s-70s, Burt Mustin. He alone is more than enough reason to see anything--even a tiny appearance like in this movie.
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Cleo Moore at Her Bad Girl Best
HarlowMGM14 January 2006
ONE GIRL'S CONFESSION was one of the more popular "B" movies of the 1950's and made a modest name for it's voluptuous blonde star, Cleo Moore, as the Marilyn Monroe of the second feature. Cleo as cast as the poorly treated ward of a crook who runs a dump of a restaurant on a dock. Tired of his nastiness, Cleo decides to steal the small fortune the man has racked up in his latest illegal activity. She then buries the loot, turns herself in and serves out her jail term, knowing the money is safely stashed. But is it? And what will our blonde bombshell of a convict do with the loot once she's free? This is quite an entertaining little potboiler in which Cleo utters the semi-famous movie quote "Men are all alike, their faces are just different so you can tell them apart."
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Cleo Moore's In Trouble!
JLRMovieReviews25 February 2011
This movie has everything: murder, deception, the big house, hidden loot, a fisherman in love with a dame, and the dame, Cleo Moore. Cleo tries to right a wrong against her deceased father by stealing money gotten under suspicious means by her boss and her father's supposed friend. When he calls the law on her, she refuses to tell where she hid it and ultimately spends time in the clinker. She is let out, on good behavior, and things start happening again. Wherever she goes, there's action in this witty and fast-paced film noir, written and directed by costar Hugo Haas, who plays her new boss. She tries to start a new life and to find the right time to get "her" money without being followed by the law. Every once in a while, you'll find a movie to really talk about. It may not win any awards, but it sure was a lot of fun, with quick one-liners, her hip-shaking figure, and trouble galore with Cleo Moore.
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Give Cleo Ten Minutes and You're Hooked! Bad Girl On The Move!
museumofdave2 March 2013
I suspect that in its day, most of the men who paid their fifty cents to see this in a theatre were happy the minute it started, as buxom, full-bodied, sensual Cleo Moore is stretched full screen on the beach late at night, having gone to sleep when she should be waiting tables elsewhere. In the first ten minutes of the film, driven by revenge for her father's death at the hands of her employer, Cleo decides to be very, very bad, robs her boss, and then pays the price! Bad Girl on The Move! Positives: The pace never flags, there are some fascinating camera angles reminiscent of Orson Welles, Moore is never less than charismatic (we don't watch these things expecting great acting), hunky Glenn Langen plays a local fisherman with an eye for the right blonde, and I would have paid twice just to experience the performance by the other bad girl, an extra named Ellen Stansbury who gives Cleo some competition! This film was released by Columbia Studios the same year they made the superior noir The Big Heat in addition to The Wild One, and From Here To Eternity--this little "B" special, directed by the infamous Hugo Haas, ain't heavy art and is barely noir--but I was never bored and often delighted. When it comes to Cleo, I'm easy to please.
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Excellent noir B film about strong-willed girl's struggle with crime
robert-temple-17 May 2010
Cleo Moore plays a remarkably strong-willed young woman who is an orphan kept as a work-slave in a waterfront café by the man who stole all her father's money. She is too glamorous for her own good, and no one stops ogling her for a minute, despite the fact that she has no time for that kind of thing. One night she accidentally sees the horrid old man receiving a large sum of cash in his office from a crook, to whom he has passed some stolen goods. She waits until he is asleep and creeps in and steals the money and takes it outside and buries it in a secret place where no one could possibly find it. She then confesses to the police the next morning that she is the thief, and is sent to prison, where she learns gardening and is told by the old gardener of the power which plant roots have to shift things underground and break through walls (this is important later in the story). She is let out after three years for her excellent behaviour and then makes her way back to the café, but it has been demolished and the old man has absconded to South America, so she cannot take revenge. She gets a job in another café owned by a compulsive gambler, to wait things out until she can be certain the various local crooks aren't following her when she goes to dig up the loot. He loses all his money and she wants to help him out with her stolen money. She also falls for a handsome young fisherman. Things get complicated and then more complicated. She sends someone out to dig up the dough but it isn't where she buried it. Then he suddenly comes into money and she thinks he has tricked her, so she goes to see him to protest and he ends up slightly dead, or is he? The film is very good viewing, and Cleo Moore is something all right.
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pretty good Noir from Haas
ksf-220 November 2013
Written, produced, directed, and starring... one person.... is sometimes a sign of a so-so work. In this case, it's a Hugo Haas project, with Cleo Moore as Mary, the blonde bombshell. I thought she looked a lot like Jayne Mansfield or Marilyn Monroe, and reading Cleo's history, she had indeed lost a part in "All About Eve" to Marilyn M. and also like Marilyn, Moore died quite young, at 50, from a heart attack.

In our story, we learn that she has been raised by Mr. Stark, and has been working for him, but doesn't like the way he treats her. She also witnesses a shady deal with some character, and is sure that Stark cheated her father in business. She takes the money box, and is immediately caught by the police. Mary is off to prison, and must figure out how to start over. She gets released, but is constantly worried that someone will try to take "her" money... the money that she snitched. Mary finds work in another pub, and seems to fit right in. There are some funny bits here where we see the shop-owner's girl try to palm his poker winnings, but the shop-owner (Haas) is on to her, and keeps taking it back. Well, we're about halfway through the film now, and it's all been story set-up so far. Mary tries to lend Damitrof, the owner, her money, but things go all wrong, and it FINALLY starts being a film noir. Lots of close-ups on our blonde starlet, and things are happening now! I tried to guess the rest of the story, and I was partially right, but there were some surprises along the way. Pretty good story. Certainly entertaining. Part of a "Bad Girls Columbia Films Noir Collection" from Sony.

Also keep an eye out for the prison gardener played by Burt Mustin-- he was in TONS of early films, and I remember him as Frank Purdue, in the commercials for Purdue chicken!
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good noir from Hugo Haas
blanche-223 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I gave this a 7 because the story was interesting and I love Cleo Moore.

Cleo Moore probably didn't have a huge range as an actress, but what she could do was very good. She was beautiful and there was something about her that was very likable. She was one of the Marilyn Monroe types, and she had a figure that was exaggerated Marilyn. By today's standards Moore was a big girl.

Here she plays Mary Adams, who works in a restaurant for a friend of her late father's and wards off passes from the customers. She hates her employer, whom she believes cheated her father and just keeps her around for cheap labor. One night, she sees a man handing him a lot of money, which goes into a strongbox. She steals it and takes off. She happily turns herself in to the police, but refuses to tell anyone where she has hidden the money.

Prison for Mary is like a vacation, and everyone loves her upbeat attitude, her hard work, and her helpfulness to other inmates. She is granted an early parole. She's not ready to go for the money yet, deciding it's better to wait. She gets a job at another restaurant working for a man named Dragomie Damitrof (Hugo Haas).

When Damitrof loses all his money gambling and faced with losing his restaurant and going to prison, Mary gives him the location of her money. But he returns, angry, not having been able to find it. He accuses her of lying and throws her out.

Next thing she knows, the guy's closed his restaurant and living in a fancy apartment house and throwing parties.

Very good, very entertaining film with decent performances. "Men are all alike, their faces are just different so you can tell them apart," Mary says. Cleo had a way with a line. In another film she says, "I like money. Green becomes me."

Neat ending with a couple of great twists. High recommended.
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It's a long pathway to honesty and sometimes you get there when you least expect it.
mark.waltz1 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Years of abuse leads to the oldest living orphan (Cleo Moore) to steal $25,000 from her late father's old partner (Leonid Snegoff). She blames him for ripping her father off, and willingly goes to prison just so the jerk who mistreated her can feel the loss her father must have felt. As time goes by, she prepares to get out of prison, and being a model prisoner, that isn't long at all. She intents to dig up the money and scram but circumstances prevent her from playing "Grab That Dough!". Working for a club owner (Hugo Haas) whom she thinks betrayed her leads to "murder", and while facing reality, Moore must come up with a clever way of disposing the cash she later located, resulting in an ironic conclusion.

An amusing but hokey and preposterous story has Moore being both good and bad, weather beaten from being used by men, yet unable to make it on her own without their help. She's amusing to watch as she plots revenge against both her evil care-giver, then becoming "Miss Popularity" in prison, then eye candy for her employer whom she conks over the head to get out of his clutches. It's melodramatic fun with a plot twist similarly utilized by Whoopie Goldberg in "Ghost". Glenn Langan provides quiet macho morality as her fisherman love interest, with Ellen Stansbury as Haas's girlfriend who stumbles upon Moore and the supposed corpse.
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I'll have pleasant dreams only if your in them
kapelusznik1817 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** Hugo Haas classic that he wrote directed produced and stared in as bar owner Dragomie Dimitrof who gets involved with hot blond Mary Adams, Cleo Moore,who just served two years of a five year sentence for grand larceny. That of her stealing from her previous boss' Gregory Stark,Leonid Snegaff, $25,000.00 of his ill gotten gains from book making and loan sharking that she later hid under an oak tree in the park.

Giving herself up to the police and without any proof of her crime-the hidden $25,000.00-Mary is still sent up the river for five years that she gladly accepts! Now out on bail and getting a job as a waitress at Mr. Dimitrof's bar restaurant Mary finds out that her boss is facing the loss of his business. That's by him gambling away all his money-$5,000.00- in an around the clock crap game and may have to apply for government assistance to just be able to survive! Mary telling Dimtrof where she hid the stolen $25,000.00 for him to use to bail himself out would never hears from him again feeling that he took off with the cash and left her out in the cold. That's until she tracked down Mr. Dimitrof driving around town smoking Havana cigars with a late model car and beautiful dames on his side and living it up and partying day and night in the expensive Shangri-La apartment complex!

***SPOILERS*** Going to see Dimitrof and have it out with him about stealing her money Mary finds him out cold from all night partying and when he came to, and grabbed her, smashed a wine bottle, that he had emptied out, over his head killing him. Or that's when Mary thought until the facts in this strange and screwy movie proved otherwise!

Despite the gorgeous blond Cleo Moore providing the eye candy in the film it's without a doubt Hugo Haas who makes the biggest impact in the movie. Haas as Mr. Dimitrof can be both good and bad at the same time and when he gets it, over his skull, he at the time more then deserved what happened to him. The twist ending at the end of the film had Mary in feeling guilty, by finding out that Mr. Dimitrof in fact didn't steal her money,in smashing in Dimtrof's skull then gives the money away to the "Sacred Heart Orphanage" and turns herself into the police for the murder of Mr. Dimitrof. Only to find out that she'e in danger of being arrested not for his murder but for issuing a false police report!
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Poor Man's Marilyn Monroe
howardmorley10 December 2016
Surprisingly intelligent "B" feature film from 1953 with a moral twist in the tale.Our sympathy rests with Cleo Moore's character by the circumstances of the raw deal she gets in life as a waitress when she robs her mean boss to recover money her boss twisted out of her father.She sneaks into his room and steals the $25000 and hides it but is then arrested for robbery.Readily admitting the robbery she is nevertheless sent to gaol.There she proves what a good sort she is and obtains remission from her sentence.Now working for another cafe owner she shows sympathy for him when due to his chronic gambling habit he loses the cafe.She learnt a valuable lesson in gaol about gardening how tree roots are so powerful they can move solid objects like tin boxes full of money.After her release she chooses to donate the stolen money to the "Sacred Heart Orphanage" and the soundtrack plays an organ rendition of "Ombra Mai Fu" by G.F. Handel.It kept my attention and I awarded it 6/10.
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A Surprising Moral Thread
dougdoepke12 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Blonde, buxom waitress Mary sneaks a money bag away from her dishonest boss. What she does afterward and what happens to the money involves a series of ironic twists and turns that fill out the narrative.

The movie's better than I expected given Haas's reputation for trash. Oh sure, Mary (Moore) never appears in anything but tight sweaters and a torpedo bra that she may even sleep in. Still, she manages to make her ambiguous character likable, despite the twists and turns. All in all, Haas has managed an interesting and ironic script, adding up to more than bosomy exploitation.

What interests me most is how the script works in moral compensations for Mary's often questionable actions. Note for example how Mary's theft of her boss's ill-gotten money is payback for his stealing her dad's money. Thus, she's not exactly a thief, since, in an expanded sense, the boss owes her that money or a similar amount. After hiding the money, she pays her debt to the law by voluntarily going to prison for several years. Thus, in a similar expanded sense, she's earned a right to keep the swag. Then when, she defensively conks Damitrof (Haas), maybe killing him, it's because he's apparently stolen the money that she has in a sense earned.

Of course, the money is tarnished no matter how many hands it's passed through or for what reason. So she abandons the money to Catholic charity, which almost wipes clean her questionable maneuvers. But not quite, since she does try to get the loot back, following a quirky turn of events. Interestingly, there's no attempt to exonerate Mary of this final questionable action. Still, I suppose one could argue that she does in fact deserve the money, so if she wants to take it back from charity, that's her right.

I know this is a rather complex morality tale. However, it looks like Haas has considered these aspects before scripting them. As a result, Mary may be morally flawed, but she's shown enough conscience to deserve a happy ending aboard a fishing boat. Just as importantly, the film industry's Production Code can permit that ending, despite her questionable deeds.

All in all, the movie's full of interesting twists. And, if some are a stretch (why trust Damitrof to dig up the money), they add up to a surprisingly thoughtful near-sleeper.
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