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Such a good B-movie that it actually became an A picture!
MartinHafer12 February 2013
"My Name is Julia Ross" is a very, very rare sort of picture. It was created with a very modest budget and cast in order to be the second, or 'B' picture at a double-feature. However, when the film was screened, people liked the film so much that at many showings, it was the premier picture! This is rather unheard of and says a lot about the story from Muriel Bolton and Anthony Gilbert--as well as the direction by Joseph H. Lewis.

The film begins with Julia (Nina Foch) looking for work. She's frustrated in her search and is excited when she sees that a new employment agency has opened. They interview her for a job and during the course of the interview, they have some strange questions--does she have any family, does she have a boyfriend and the like. Well, she can answer no to most of the questions but lies about the boyfriend part--telling them she has no one in her life. They are thrilled and offer her a job. Here's the bizarre twist. She suddenly finds herself drugged! And, she wakes up two days later in a prison-like mansion!! And, these strangers begin referring to her by another woman's name! She insists that she IS Julia Ross and demands to be set free but they treat her like she is insane. Her 'mother-in-law' (Dame May Witty) and 'husband' (George Macready) obviously have something awful in mind--but what? And, with all the neighbors having been told that she is a schizophrenic, she cannot convince any of them that she is telling the truth! What's next? See the film for yourself.

Th bottom line is that everything works well in this film--the acting, writing, direction, sets. The only negative, and it's a minor one, but back in the 1940s, Hollywood had the Production Code and according to this code, evil had to be punished so viewers know that somehow things WILL work out for good. A similar film that works even better is the 1960s French film "Diaboliquement Vôtre". Likewise a man has been kidnapped and folks work very hard to convince him he's someone else. But because there is no code to restrict the film, the ending is VERY dark and more satisfying. Still, both are exceptional films and I recommend both very highly.
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A nice little gem
bkoganbing1 December 2019
My Name Is Julia Ross is one of those gems that every now and then come from the B end of a major studio. Columbia Pictures did this one and got a good cast of some as yet unknown players.

The title role is played by Nina Foch in her salad days and she applies for a position as a secretary to Dame May Whitty. It's all a ruse as she's whisked off to the Cornwall coast from London.

Foch is kept in a genteel prison and she's constantly referred to as Whitty's balmy daughter-in-law, wife of George MacReady. Foch is having trouble keeping her own sanity as she searches for the reason that Whitty, MacReady, and the rest of the staff are treating her as they are.

This film is a solidly cast one with Foch, Peters, and Whitty just perfect in their parts. If broadcast don't miss this one.
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Needs to be Rediscovered
Michael_Elliott29 August 2009
My Name is Julia Ross (1945)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Intense thriller has a broke woman (Nina Foch) accepting a live-in job where she is to work as a secretary for a kind woman (Dame May Witty) and her son (George Macready). The woman shows up at the house but wakes up the next morning with the mom and son trying to tell her that she's his long lost wife. What's really going on is that they're going to hold this woman captive in hopes of driving her crazy. This here is a film I had never heard about until it came up on Turner Classic Movies and host Robert Osbourne wasn't lying when he said it needed a new crowd to discover it. This "B" movie from Columbia runs a very fast paced 66-minutes and for the most part it's one of the best of its type. The film has an ultra low-budget but that just adds tot he entertainment because it has to rely on its story, which is a pretty strong one and we also get some very strong performances. What works best is without question the story because driving someone crazy has always been a part of movies but the way it plays out here is pretty tense and makes for some very thrilling moments. The attempts at escape, the trying to convince people she's sane and so on just makes for some great entertainment. Foch clearly steals the film as the woman facing death and who must out smart her kidnappers. Foch has a certain quality that makes us care for her but at the same time she comes off very strong and this benefits her character a lot. Both Witty and Macready are perfect as well and they make for some very memorable villains. The evilness and coldness that both display while also appearing so calm and sweet was great fun to watch. Some people have called this a noir and perhaps there are elements of it but it would also serve well in the horror genre as there's an underlying creepiness built by the atmosphere. The Gothic settings are certainly a decade or so before they'd become popular and the mother/son relationship is being done long before PSYCHO. It's certainly a shame this movie isn't better known but perhaps that'll change in the next few years.
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Wagon Wheel Joe goes it alone
boblipton15 March 2002
A lovely little B picture with all the usual Joe Lewis touches.... people ripping up pillows and auras of lurking fear. Also, alas, an ending that comes out of nowhere, because, apparently, the auteur has lost interest in the movie, or perhaps because as a B picture it has to fit into a slot.
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Entertaining Film-Noir
claudio_carvalho26 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
In London, Julia Ross (Nina Foch) is totally broken and unsuccessfully seeking a job. Her previous love affair with the lawyer Dennis Bruce (Roland Varno) has ended and he has just married with another woman on the previous night. When she sees an advertisement in a newspaper in the boarding house where she lives, she goes to the employment agency and she is interviewed by Ms. Sparkes (Anita Sharp-Bolster). When she learns that Julia is alone in London with neither relatives nor boyfriend, she offers a job position of private secretary with the wealthy Mrs. Hughes (Dame May Witty) and her son Ralph Hughes (George Macready). Julia is immediately hired and Mrs. Hughes tells that she must move to her house that night. Julia goes to the boarding house of Mrs. Mackie (Doris Lloyd) to pack her things and she meets Dennis that called off his wedding. They schedule a date for the next Friday and she goes to the house. Julia wakes up two days later at a seaside manor in Cornwall. Further, the employees believe that she is Marion Hughes, the wife of Ralph, who is unstable due to a nervous breakdown and delusional. Soon she learns that Ralph has killed Marion and now she is his alibi. Further he is plotting a scheme to kill her as if she had committed suicide. What can Julia do to save her life?

"My Name is Julia Ross" is an entertaining film with an original story unlikely to happen. Julia Ross trapped in the mansion usually does not take the correct attitudes. Arthur Penn's "Dead Winter" uses a different storyline that slightly recalls the general idea of "My Name is Julia Ross". My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Trágico Álibi" ("Tragic Alibi")
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There's evil in this job offer.
mark.waltz7 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Don't let Dame May Witty's cute grandmotherly face fool you. She's out for no good in this delicious film noir sleeper where a fake employment agency is created for the most nefarious of schemes. George MacReady, the most sinister actor under contract to Columbia, is cast as her son whose mysterious past leads way to the necessity to hire Foch on as Witty's new secretary, in fact, a position in which they do not really need to fill. MacReady's the ultimate mama's boy, and Witty must take on certain characteristics she deplores in order to get him out of his latest mess. Where does Foch fit into all these plans? Well, unless you read the plot synopsis, you're better off not knowing, because that's half the fun here in watching everything unfold and all the cards fall into place.

The sweet faced Nina Foch essays total confusion as she is thrown into a new life which she does not understand anything about. But all isn't letter perfect for MacReady, Witty and Anita Bolster as the severe looking housekeeper who posed as the employment agency. Witty, so lovable as the title character in "The Lady Vanishes" and so pompous (with a hidden side of compassion) as the town matron complaining about middle class people wearing "mink coats and no manners" in "Mrs. Miniver", gives one of her most stunning performances, and the lack of an Oscar nomination for her role is certainly a crime in itself. As for MacReady, this is definitely his most challenging performance, and those who only know him as the husband in "Gilda" will find him quite remarkable.

When he declares about the rocky waters below the huge frightening mansion he's holding Foch prisoner in, "Beautiful isn't? Would you like to listen to the sea and hear what it says? It doesn't say anything, does it. That's what I like about the sea. It never tells its secrets, and it has many secrets", the film takes on an almost film noir variation of "Rebecca", "Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre". Film Noir doesn't get any more Gothic than this, and even in smaller roles, the tiny cast is excellent. Roland Varno as Foch's possible rescuer, Doris Lloyd as the cockney landlady and especially Joy Harington as the thieving maid in Lloyd's boarding house give more to the haunting atmosphere. An above average remake, "Dead of Night" (with Mary Steenburgen), is equally as almost forgotten as this, genuinely one of those small little sleepers that has attracted a cult following and is starting to get the acclaim which it has long deserved.
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Woman In Jep.
rmax3048236 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
As Julia Ross, a young Nina Foch is the mostly rootless American in London who is hired by a nefarious mother and son, Dame May Witty and George Macready, as a secretary. On her first visit, she's drugged and awakens two days later in a stone mansion in Cornwall. Her clothes and ID have been destroyed and she's been given a new identity. She finds she is now Mrs. Marian Hughes, Macready's wife.

She's kept from leaving, held prisoner, in fact, and soon learns that the Hughes plan to kill her and make it look like suicide because, in fact, Macready, a madman, has already stabbed his real wife to death and disposed of her body in the sea. This leaves something of a hole in the social fabric and they're going to plug it with Foch's fake suicide.

It's a short movie. It really resembles one of the mystery radio dramas that were popular at the time of its release, with names like "The Whistler" and "Inner Sanctum." Nina Foch is a decent actress with pleasant, even features, but not a stunning beauty in the usual Hollywood tradition. She doesn't have the kind of face you want to fall into, but rather paint, or at least run your fingers over and tweak. George Macready, whatever his role, always comes across as more or less the same character -- a Prussian officer with a smooth voice and a face with a Schmiss from sabre fights in a Heidelberg gym.

Dame May Witty is much better at likable roles instead of villainy. She was most enjoyable as the lady who vanished on Hitchcock's train. Oddly, I recall the day she died, 29 May, 1948, because I have a flashbulb memory of myself in childhood reading her obit on a sunny afternoon in the New York Daily News, and wondering who she was. Now that my brain is turning into tofu, I intend leaving it for analysis to the American Culinary Institute.

The plot is pretty much by the numbers. It was remade, I think, in 1976 with Mary Steenburgen. The first time I was aware of a similar tale -- a young woman hired at an isolated estate and being passed off as someone else -- was in Conan-Doyle's "The Copper Beeches." A seasoned mystery writer could have knocked out this plot as fast as he could type. It was merely a matter of setting up the situation and then figuring out the many ways she could try convincing others that she was sane, not nuts, and how many ways she could try but fail at communicating clues to possibly helpful figures from outside her prison. I counted three important notes from her or from a friend -- notes that would have ended the mystery pronto -- that were intercepted and ripped up.

Yet, withal, it's tautly written and enjoyable if you are looking for a diversion. Happily, it's only a bit more than one hour long.
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Quickie feature from Columbia is taut but very brief...
moonspinner553 April 2004
Second-feature concerns a young woman in London desperate for a job, happy to accept live-in secretarial position with an elderly woman and her son. Thrillers about people being held in a house against their will always make me a little uneasy--I end up feeling like a prisoner too--but this rather classy B-film is neither lurid nor claustrophobic. It's far-fetched and unlikely, but not uninteresting, and our heroine (Nina Foch) is quick on her feet. Rehashing this in 1986 (as "Dead Of Winter") proved not to be wise, as the plot-elements are not of the modern-day. "Julia Ross" is extremely compact (too short at 65 minutes!) but it stays the course nicely until a too-rushed climax, which feels a little sloppy. *** from ****
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My name ain't Hugues!
dbdumonteil4 December 2019
An excellent little thriller ,infuenced by Hitchcock,which was remade by Arthur Penn as "dead of winter" ;an anomaly in his filmography ,his version was closer to the horror movies of the eighties, with even gore thrown in for good measure. Joseph E.Lewis 's work is in the Gothic tradition ,with its castle by the sea and its park with high gates a la "Rebecca" ;Nina Foch is efficient as the damsel in distress, who fortunately proves herself often smarter than her persecutors ;George McRead and the marvelous Dame May Whitty,terrifying under her genial comforting attitude ,give good support ;although the film is rather short (65 min) we feel that this son has remained a little boy under his mom's thumb. (as it often happens in sir Hitchcock's works) Sit back ,turn off the lights and get some scares .
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Truncated film noir
blanche-29 July 2009
Nina Foch insists that "My Name is Julia Ross" in this 1945 film noir also starring Dame May Witty and George Macready. It's short, and because it is, the film suffers. It could have stood to have been a good fifteen minutes to a half hour longer.

When I was growing up, Foch was a fixture on television, playing a neurotic woman, the wife with the cheating husband, the nervous wreck. She became one of the great acting teachers in Los Angeles. Here, she's a pretty young ingenue playing the title role. Julia answers an ad for a secretary and is hired immediately by Mrs. Hughes and her son Ralph. Little does she know - though we learn immediately - that the employment agent is a front, set up to get just the right woman for this assignment, a woman with no family and no boyfriend.

It's a live-in situation; once Julia gets to the house, she's drugged, and when she wakes up, she's told she's Mrs. Hughes and not allowed to leave.

The acting is very good. Low budget but still entertaining - some things, particularly at the end, happen way too quickly, which is why I said the movie is too short. Nevertheless, I recommend it.
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My Name is Julia Ross-In the Tradition of Hitchcock ***1/2
edwagreen19 July 2009
This was a typical grade B movie in 1940s Hollywood and yet it succeeded way beyond its expectations. Why? It has a wonderful plot and backed up by Nina Foch, George MacReady and Dame May Witty, as a female villain, of all people.

When a young lady answers an advertisement for a secretary, she certainly gets more than she bargained for. The only talents her employers are seeking are those which will lead to her demise. Seems that Witty and MacReady want to pass her off as their daughter-in-law and wife, respectively. MacReady killed his real wife and wants to do Foch in as well so that a body can be claimed.

The film deals with how Foch tries to get town people to believe her and how she is thwarted in practically everything she does. Why don't people believe her?
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Down, dirty and great
BandSAboutMovies28 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
After a successful start churning out Poverty Row quickies, Joseph H. Lewis directed My Name Is Julia Ross as his first film at Columbia. It established proved so popular that the studio soon promoted it to A-feature status. It's a low budget film and only 64 minutes long, but it packs plenty of melodrama in its tight-fisted grip.

Julia Ross has been struggling to find work in London. A new talent agency is happy to learn that she has no family and boyfriend, so they recommend her as the secretary to wealthy widow Mrs. Williamson Hughes (May Whitty, The Lady Vanishes, Gaslight).

After the very first evening of her work, she wakes up far from London in a Cornish mansion, having been drugged. Now, Mrs. Hughes and her volatile son Ralph (George Macready, Gilda and the narrator of Count Yorga, Vampire) want her to believe that she's Ralph's wife Marion. Everything she owns has been destroyed, the windows barred and the staff and locals have all convinced that she has mental problems.

Julia writes a letter to her only close friend and admirer, Dennis Bruce (Roland Varno, the father of Martin Varno, author of the 1958's Night of the Blood Beast). but it seems like the Hughes family is ahead of her at every single turn. Her doctors and even the police are in on the scheme.

One night, Julia discovers a secret passage and overhears Ralph explain to his mother that he murdered his wife once she exposed his shady business dealings. He threw her body in the sea and now he wants to kill Julia and make it look like a suicide.

Will Julia escape? Is she really Ralph's wife? Is everyone really against her? Oh the drama! If you've seen this movie before, you may have seen the 1987 remake, Dead of Winter, which starred Mary Steenbergen and Roddy Mcdowell.
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Hide the Furniture Cushions
dougdoepke2 November 2008
For those who think of Dame May Witty as the kindly, slightly batty, old lady from Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes, this movie requires an adjustment. Here, she's anything but kindly or batty. Instead, her son, George Macready is the loony one. Just don't give him a knife, otherwise his eyes light up and no furniture cushion in the house is safe. Now we know what he has in mind for the trapped Nina Foch if he can just get out from under Mother's domineering hand.

Really tight little woman-in-danger film that keeps the suspense on high throughout. The script never strays from Foch's dilemma. She's held prisoner in a big old Gothic house on the edge of an angry sea. They're going to kill her, but why. Her predicament makes no sense. The tension mounts as she tries one escape ploy after another, but even strangers seem against her. We begin to feel her helplessness and mounting paranoia as the world turns away from her.

Director Joseph H. Lewis took a big step toward cult status with this film and understandably so. Then too, watch Foch run subtly through a gamut of emotions without once going over the top. Witty too shines as a really intimidating matriarch who knows what she wants and how to get it if she can just keep her wacko son in line. My one reservation is the climax which seems too contrived considering the timing of the events. Nonetheless, it's a good, nerve-wracking way to spend a little over an hour, courtesy Columbia studios.
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We're doing everything in our power to make you well again.
hitchcockthelegend20 October 2013
My Name Is Julia Ross is directed by Joseph H. Lewis and adapted to screenplay by Muriel Roy Bolton from The Woman in Red written by Anthony Gilbert. It stars Nina Foch, Dame Mary Witty, George Macready, Roland Varno, Anita Sharp-Bolster and Doris Lloyd. Music is by Mischa Bakaleinikoff and cinematography by Burnett Guffey.

Julia Ross (Foch) out of work and in debt arrears to her landlady, hastily accepts a in-house secretarial position to Mrs. Hughes (Whitty). Starting work in the Hughes house in London the first night, she wakes up two days later in a cliff-top mansion in Cornwall. She is told she has been away with mental health problems, her name is Marion Hughes and she is married to Ralph Hughes (Macready)...

A very important film in the career of the great Joseph H. Lewis, My Name is Julia Ross would effectively put the director on the map, with noir fans subsequently rewarded with the likes of Gun Crazy and The Big Combo. Compact in running time (65 minutes) and budget, it's a film that showcases just what real good work could be achieved by a director and photographer noir team working under tight restrictions; classical noir production if you like.

Story as it is is pretty straightforward and familiar, but atmosphere and visual smartness ensure this is no walk down retread lane. It falls into the Gothic noir spectrum of films, following in the traditions of Rebecca, Gaslight and Suspicion. In fact, it's also very much "old dark house" on staple terms, with eerie staircase, wood panelled rooms, secret passageways and even a black cat. While the setting, house on a seaside cliff where the mist rolls in at night, is splendidly moody.

The characterisations (very well performed by the cast) are vivid and odd, with us clearly meant to note that Julia Ross is clearly the only normal being in the Hughes household! Best of the bunch is Macready's Ralph Hughes, the catalyst for all the things that are happening, he fondles his knives like a fetishist, a truly memorable noir antagonist.

Ultimately it's what Lewis and Guffey bring to the fore that makes the film better than it is on the page. Expressionistic touches are here of course, but it's the skew-whiff camera placements and up close POV shots that bring the viewer into Julia's confused new world. Memorable scenes are frequent, be it a rain sodden street or Julia peering through the bars of her bedroom, there's visual treats aplenty here.

The ending is all to quick and as is often the case in this type of narrative, implausibilities need to be ignored. But that is easy to do, because with atmosphere unbound and not a shot wasted, this is a safe recommendation to the Gothic noir faithful. 8/10
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Nina Foch stars in low-budget early film noir...
Doylenf19 April 2007
MY NAMES IS JULIA ROSS is a neat little thriller from Columbia later remade in '87 as DEAD OF WINTER with Mary Steenburgen as the unfortunate girl who finds herself prisoner in a strange household.

Here it's NINA FOCH who answers an employment agency ad and ends up in a household ruled by DAME MAY Witty and GEORGE MACREADY--and a plan that must have seemed daring and original when the story first appeared in '45.

Seems that she wakes up after a drugged night of sleep and finds out she has a new identity--no longer Julia Ross. Macready declares that he's her husband and Dame May Witty calls her by a different name. The two of them are conspiring to keep her there until their ultimate plan is carried out. Foch, of course, intends to get to the bottom of the thing and free herself from their hold on her.

What really hurts the story is the manufactured ending which is much too abrupt and too full of coincidence and loopholes to be believable. But still, while you're watching the story unfold, it does have its share of tension and suspense.

Personally, I prefer the more elaborately plotted remake with Mary Steenburgen and Roddy McDowall which came along in the '80s, called DEAD OF WINTER.
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Exceptional "B" movie
preppy-321 April 2007
Julia Ross (Nina Foch) agrees to take a position as a secretary with the rich Hughes family to get over her boyfriend leaving her. Almost immediately she is drugged and shipped off to the family's estate in Cornwall. When she awakens they keep telling her she's Marion Hughes, has been mentally ill and keep her locked up...but why? You'll probably guess why but won't mind because this one is fun.

Along with "The Narrow Margin" and "Face Behind the Mask" this is one of the best B pictures ever made. (B pictures were low budget pictures made quickly with low budgets and no major stars). It's just as long as it needs to be (only 65 minutes), is well-directed, fast paced and exciting. It only stumbles at the end which I found a bit too implausible to buy.

Foch (a good actress) is just OK in the lead but Dame May Witty is great and George Macready is excellent (and frightening) as the villains. Well worth catching. A perfect example of how you can make a great movie on a small budget.
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A Ross By Any Other Name
writers_reign3 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
At sixty-five minutes this may well have provided a satisfactory 'B' picture element to a typical double bill risible though it seems today.There's a stunning opening shot of (what will turn out to be the heroine) walking away from camera in the pouring rain and had they been able to sustain that feel this may well have been one to reckon with. Alas, it loses credibility almost at once - certainly when viewed in 2010 - as Lewis crams in exposition and progression in double time so we learn that Julia Ross (Nine Foch) is broke, owes three weeks rent, has just lost a boyfriend to marriage (then, within thirty seconds learns that he couldn't go through with the wedding), sees an ad from a new employment agency in the newspapers, applies, is interviewed and hired for a live-in secretary post on the strength of the fact that she is single, no boyfriend, no parents, no friends or, to put it another way, no one is going to miss her when the new employers turn her lights out. It moves so quickly that at the time the audience wouldn't have had time to reflect on how ludicrous it was but the three leads, Foch, Dame May Witty and George MacReady are all up to snuff and seen today it makes a nice curio.
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Great Film Deserving of Its Reputation
utgard1413 November 2013
Exceptional B movie considered for decades to be the greatest B movie ever made. If not the best, it's certainly near the top of the list. Nina Foch gives an excellent performance as Julia Ross, an unsuspecting woman who answers an ad for a job and finds herself the hostage of a deranged man and his domineering mother. George Macready and Dame May Witty make for memorable villains, sinister and creepy. The film is only sixty-five minutes long and director Joseph H. Lewis makes the most of it, keeping the film moving at a brisk pace but not rushed. This is definitely one of the 1940's films I would put on a must-see list for those interested in trying out older films.
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There's a pretentious nether region fancying itself to be a "United Kingdom" . . .
oscaralbert17 August 2020
Warning: Spoilers
. . . though it's neither united nor a kingdom (just ask Scotland and the Queen). Since pretend monarchs are a wooden nickel a dozen over there (think Mary, Queen of Scots or Lady Jane Grey), it should come as no shock to learn that this benighted isle is rife with make-believe wives, bogus husbands, ersatz doctors, fake employment agents and runaway grooms. MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS features all of the above, plus a black cat. If anyone you know is toying with the idea of visiting this old rag of a country, it's your solemn duty to deter them with of screening of this flick.
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A Charming and Truly Suspenseful Little Gothic Thriller
evanston_dad18 December 2006
Nina Foch delivers a surprisingly strong performance as the title character in this fun little Gothic nail-biter. She accepts a position as secretary to a London society dowager (played imperiously by Dame May Witty) and her creepy son (the effete and bothersome George Macready). Before she knows it, she awakens to find herself in a seaside manor she's never seen before, where Witty and Macready are calling her Marian and trying to convince the servants and the nearby townspeople that she's Macready's mad wife. Of course this pair can only be planning dastardly deeds, and even though we know Julia has to eventually escape her trap, director Joseph Lewis builds real suspense in answering the question of just how she'll manage it.

"My Name Is Julia Ross" has nothing stylistically to set it apart from any number of films that came out at the same time period, but I was surprised by how well it held together despite its shoe-string budget and B-movie pedigree. There are quite a few moments that just may have you on the edge of your seat, and I found myself really rooting for Julia as she caught on to the scheme underfoot and began to outsmart her captors. In any other Gothic thriller, the heroine would have swooned, screamed and dithered, waiting for her hero to come and save her. So I can't tell you how refreshing it was to have the heroine in this film use her brain and figure out how to save herself.

Well done.

Grade: B+
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real treat from start to finish
christopher-underwood26 December 2019
What a wonderful surprise. I purchased this as part of a special offer and did not notice that it was only 65 minutes or even that it was English. However, the short length, as a consequence of this being intended as a B feature, simply means that the story is succinctly told and can hurry through without wavering and the Englishness adds a certain charm. Nourish and echoing Hitchcock, helped perhaps by the presence of May Whitty. Indeed Whitty is here no gentile Englishwoman but a very scary and believable old lady seemingly capable of anything. Nina Foch is fabulous in the central role and victim and if the story is rather obvious and predictable from the start, everybody performs so well and the action propelled so expertly that this is a real treat from start to finish.
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Vincentiu5 August 2014
a nice film. almost naive and not very credible but seductive for the plot who reminds Hitchcock, for cast - Dame May Whitby could not be a surprise - and for the flavor of a lost period. a film noir like a lot of others, it is special for the lovely construction of tension - small bits , little details who prepares the spectator for the heart of story. Nina Foch seems be the ideal Julia Ross and the secret is the clever use of a lot of clichés of time. and sure, a not insignificant detail is the music, the house near the sea, the tools who gives inspired taste to a film noir. the best thing - balance between pieces. not great but nice. and, in that case, it is a real good point.
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Outstanding Low Budget Film
whpratt120 April 2007
Greatly enjoyed this 1945 mystery thriller film about a young woman, Nina Foch,(Julia Ross) who is out of work and has fallen behind in her rent and is desperate to find work. Julia reads an ad in the local London newspaper looking for a secretary and rushes out to try and obtain this position. Julia obtains the position and is hired by a Mrs. Hughes, (Dame May Witty) who requires that she lives with her employer in her home and wants her to have no involvement with men friends and Julia tells them she has no family and is free to devote her entire time to this job. George Macready, (Ralph Hughes) is the son of Mrs. Hughes and has some very strange desires for playing around with knives. This was a low budget film and most of the scenes were close ups in order to avoid the expense of a background and costs for scenery. This strange family all live in a huge mansion off the Cornwall Coast of England and there is secret doors and plenty of suspense.
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Too much short.....a minor noir!!!
elo-equipamentos10 May 2018
The story is completelly unbelievable to start, a lack o authenticity crumble the plot a low degree, nevertheless still intereresting as entertaiment it's works a lot neither Nina Foch quite often has done a good acting, another point to discuss is about the lenght of the movie, it's too short to tell a story fullness, but it was an acceptable works which should be more development prior to be shooting!!!


First watch: 2018 / How Many: 1 / Source: DVD / Rating: 7.25
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Cornish Nasties
Lejink17 January 2019
I was directed to this movie by a book on film noir I'm currently reading although to be honest I doubt I'd categorise it that way. It's much more reminiscent of suspense thrillers like "Gaslight" or "Rebecca" which isn't to say it doesn't have dark elements or that it isn't an enjoyable if brief movie.

Nina Foch is the young woman Julia Ross living in London in a cheap boarding house, behind with the rent and desperate for a job. She also thinks she's just been left by a possible boy-friend whose wedding invitation she receives too late, but happily at least for her, he jilts his bride-to-be and comes back to her. Another piece of apparent good news for her is that she gets offered a well-paid job by an employment agency, housekeeping for an elderly lady (Dame May Whitty) and her still-at-home son played by George MacReady. However the job is too good to be true as we learn that the employment agency is a front to lure young girls into the remote Cornwall household of Whitty and MacReady for dark ulterior motives and sure enough she finds herself waking up after a drugged sleep with everyone in the household, mother and son included, calling her by the name of Marion Hughes and telling her she's the son's long-standing wife. Why have they done this to her and how can she escape this nightmare situation?

Snappily told in 65 minutes by future noir specialist Joseph H Lewis the tension is ratcheted up nicely as her predicament deepens, after all, if someone told you something incredible about their personal circumstances after you'd previously been told by apparently respectable people that they were out of their minds, who would you believe?

It's a pity the running time is so short as you feel that like the unnamed heroine in, say Hitchcock's "Rebecca" the cords that bind Julia could have taken at least a couple more knots and the ending too is a little forced and rushed but the movie is well played by the leads and directed with no little style especially on a limited budget, so that this three quarter length thriller gives pretty much full viewing value with time left over to write about it!
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