Assistant district attorney Cleve Marshall falls for the mysterious Thelma Jordon when she seeks help solving robberies of her aunt's estate.


Robert Siodmak


Marty Holland (story), Ketti Frings (screenplay)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Thelma Jordon
Wendell Corey ... Cleve Marshall
Paul Kelly ... Miles Scott
Joan Tetzel ... Pamela Blackwell Marshall
Stanley Ridges ... Kingsley Willis
Richard Rober ... Tony Laredo
Minor Watson ... Judge Calvin H. Blackwell
Barry Kelley ... District Attorney Melvin Pierce
Kasey Rogers ... Dolly - Cleve's Secretary (as Laura Elliot)
Basil Ruysdael ... Judge Jonathan David Hancock
Jane Novak ... Mrs. Blackwell
Gertrude Hoffman ... Aunt Vera Edwards (as Gertrude W. Hoffman)
Harry Antrim ... Sidney
Kate Drain Lawson ... Clara (as Kate Lawson)
Theresa Harris ... Esther


Assistant District Attorney Cleve Marshall, depressed about marital troubles, is drowning his sorrows in a bottle of whiskey when the mysterious and alluring Thelma Jordon walks in to report an attempted burglary. The two become romantically involved and not long afterwards there is a burglary and murder at Thelma's aunt's house. Cleve is drawn further and further into defending and covering up for Thelma. It soon becomes clear that this road will only lead to disaster. Written by B.A. Black

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...SHE'LL LIE...KILL OR KISS HER WAY OUT OF ANYTHING! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


While the jury is considering their verdict Thelma is seen being held in prison, which is across the street from the court. With the jury ready to give their verdict Thelma is walked over the road to the court with no handcuffs on. All the ground floor windows and the doorway of the prison unrealistically have awnings over them making it look more like a hotel. See more »


When the doctor closes Thelma's eyes after she has died, her eyelids keep moving. See more »


Pamela Blackwell Marshall: Cleve? Where were you on the night of May 25th?
[She turns on the light to look at her husband, who is lying in bed, skunk drunk]
Pamela Blackwell Marshall: I believe it's inexcusable.
Cleve Marshall: [drowsy] I'm glad I didn't buy you that whatnot. It's horrible.
Pamela Blackwell Marshall: You're just trying to change the subject. Where were you?
[Cleve snores]
Pamela Blackwell Marshall: Cleve?
[Amusingly, the score plays Brahm's Lullaby]
See more »


Referenced in Drive-in Movie Memories (2001) See more »

User Reviews

Turns out she was a Dame with a conscience
12 December 2008 | by PudgyPandaManSee all my reviews

From her first entrance, Stanwyck kept me captivated by her performance in this film. There is something about her that draws you in and holds you. You know there is more to her than meets the eye - but you're not sure what exactly.

I have always admired Stanwyck. She was born Ruby Stevens, a Brooklyn girl that worked for a phone company and then became a chorus girl, before finally going to Hollywood to chase her dreams. She was nominated 4 times for an Oscar for Best Actress ("Stella Davis", "Ball of Fire", "Double Indemnity", "Sorry ,Wrong Number") but never won - except for an Honorary Oscar near the end of her life. She was considered a gem to work with for her serious but easy going attitude on the set (unlike many of her contemporary peers). This makes me like her even more!

I thought the cinematography in this film was outstanding. I loved the elaborate sets and and set decorating.

The plot kept me intrigued as well. Corey plays the perfect fall guy for Stanwyck. His average looks and dull exterior tend to make you feel sympathetic for this guy. Some have commented that they didn't have much chemistry together. I agree that they are an unlikely couple, but it helps you see how he could get so caught up in her and be willing to sacrifice so much. She was obviously outside his league.

There are some nice twists and turns in the plot that will keep you interested - especially at the end. It's worth a watch.

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Release Date:

20 April 1950 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The File on Thelma Jordon See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wallis-Hazen See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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