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The File on Thelma Jordon (1949)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 5 May 1950 (Australia)
Assistant district attorney Cleve Marshall falls for the mysterious Thelma Jordon when she seeks help solving robberies of her aunt's estate.

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writers:

Marty Holland (story), Ketti Frings (screenplay)
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Cast

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 Harry Antrim ... Sidney
Kate Drain Lawson Kate Drain Lawson ... Clara (as Kate Lawson)
Theresa Harris ... Esther
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 1950 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Thelma Jordon See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wallis-Hazen See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The File on Thelma Jordon is a public domain movie and is legally free in the United States. See more »

Goofs

Cleve Marshall sits down at the desk opposite Miles Scott and says "Can't talk 'til I have another drink." Scott picks up the whiskey bottle and pulls out the cork before handing it to Marshall. Marshall picks up the bottle and again pulls out the cork. See more »

Quotes

Thelma Jordon: I wish so much crime didn't take place after dark. It's so unnerving.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Hooked And Begging For More
19 August 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The File On Thelma Jordon turns out to be an extensive one indeed. Had Wendell Corey examined it more fully he might never have gotten into the jackpot he did.

A lot of critics compare this film with that other Stanwyck classic, Double Indemnity. There are certainly elements of that story in The File On Thelma Jordon. But I also see a lot of resemblance as well to the Dick Powell-Lizabeth Scott-Jane Wyatt noir film, Pitfall. If you've seen that one it involves a married, but bored Dick Powell casually drifting into an affair with Lizabeth Scott and getting sucked into some criminal enterprise. Joan Tetzel steps into the role of the wronged wife and was every bit as good as Jane Wyatt was in Pitfall.

One desultory night as Wendell Corey is working late and getting helped along with a little libation, in pops Barbara Stanwyck to the District Attorney's office to complain about the lack of action the police have been giving to her complaints about someone trying to break into her house where she and her elderly aunt live. Corey's state of inebriation seems to be loosening any moral restraints and Barbara leaves him hooked and begging for more.

So when the elderly aunt is in fact murdered, Corey doesn't think like an officer of the court, but instead he's using the gray cells in his male member to make decisions. He winds up prosecuting Stanwyck and paying for high priced defense attorney Stanley Ridges on the side. By the way Ridges is one shrewd article and suspects what's up, but keeps his mouth shut.

Paul Kelly is in the Edward G. Robinson role as another member of the District Attorney's office who realizes this case has far more layers to this than originally thought.

The film is definitely one that should satisfy Barbara's legion of fans.


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