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The Company She Keeps (1951)

Approved | | Drama | 1951 (UK)
Follows the progress of a female ex-convict as she tries to rebuild her life after being released from prison.


John Cromwell


Ketti Frings (story and screen play)




Complete credited cast:
Lizabeth Scott ... Joan Willburn
Jane Greer ... Diane Stuart
Dennis O'Keefe ... Larry Collins
Fay Baker ... Tilly Thompson
John Hoyt ... Judge Kendall
James Bell ... Mr. Neeley
Don Beddoe ... Jamieson
Bert Freed ... Smitty
Irene Tedrow ... Mrs. Seeley
Marjorie Wood Marjorie Wood ... Mrs. Haley
Marjorie Crossland ... Mrs. Griggs
Virginia Farmer ... Mrs. Harris


A female ex-convict meets a handsome man and they begin seeing one another. Jeopardizing their relationship is her not telling him she was in prison and he not revealing his involvement with her parole officer. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

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Did You Know?


Feature film debut of Jeff Bridges. His older brother, Beau Bridges, and their mother, Dorothy Dean Bridges, also appear in the film. Jeff would co-star once more with Jane Greer 31 years later in Against All Odds (1984). See more »


Featured in The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2019 (2019) See more »

User Reviews

The Parole Paranoia.
29 November 2013 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

The Company She Keeps is directed by John Cromwell and written by Ketti Frings. It stars Lizabeth Scott, Jane Greer and Dennis O'Keefe. Music is by Leigh Harline and cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca.

Released from prison after serving two years, Mildred Lynch (Greer) changes her name to Diane Stuart and sets out for a new start in Los Angeles. Assigned a friendly parole officer, Joan Willburn (Scott), who finds Diane work in a local hospital, Diane struggles to take to Joan and suffers from paranoia as to how the public are going to perceive her. Things get considerably murkier when Diane begins a love affair with Joan's boyfriend, Larry Collins (O'Keefe)…

A waste of potential, a film featuring two noir darlings and one tough guy noir actor should have more about it than merely playing out as a weak willed melodrama. The annoyance is further compounded by the fact that ace cinematographer Musuraca works his magic for many passages of the story, putting tightly fitted noir visuals to scenes involving prison cells and the darker recesses' of the hospital where Diane works. In fact the last twenty minutes, guff laden ending not withstanding, is worth time spent with picture purely because of Musuraca.

It's not as if the acting is bad, where even though I agree wholeheartedly with those who think Greer and Scott should have swapped roles, both the girls do good work here, as does O'Keefe, who has the problem of having both Greer and Scott lusting after him! But nobody is done any favours by Harline's score, the usually skilled composer lays over the top of proceedings a score that would be more at home in a 1940s romantic comedy.

Where there should be intelligent observations on the justice system, and the problems of parolees fitting back into society, there is instead a love triangle that lacks any suspense or a semblance of edginess, the writer evidently afraid to spice things up and do justice to the noir potential of the idea.

Fans of the leading ladies and Musuraca should just about find it watchable, but frustration is almost certainly guaranteed as well. 5/10

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Release Date:

1951 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wall Outside See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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