20 user 10 critic

Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 25 June 1951 (Sweden)
Sent to a dude ranch in the west to recover her health, a New York actress falls in love with a ranch owner recently acquitted of the murder of his wife.


King Vidor


Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee), Margaret Echard (novel)

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Theo has had many boyfriends who wanted to marry her. Since her mother, Mrs. Selworth, has been married many times, Theo is unsure of commitment. Without much thought, she finally accepts ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Lana Turner, James Craig, John Hodiak
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In an idyllic setting, a likable but dangerously volatile twelve-year-old boy tries to settle a score with his disagreeable, mysterious neighbor.

Director: David Bradley
Stars: George Murphy, Nancy Reagan, Billy Gray
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A priceless Cellini silver cup is stolen from a local museum with both Hildegarde and Oscar on the case.

Director: Ben Holmes
Stars: James Gleason, Zasu Pitts, Owen Davis Jr.
Possessed (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An ambitious factory girl meets a handsome, wealthy lawyer, but he's interested in her as a mistress, not a wife.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Ford
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The body of an unknown woman turns up in a stolen car abandoned in a New York park, and the only clue the detectives on the case have to work from is the tattoo on her arm, and the fact ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Montagne
Stars: John Miles, Patricia Barry, Walter Kinsella
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A telephone operator ends up drunk and at the mercy of a cad in his apartment. The next morning she wakes up with a hangover and the terrible fear she may be a murderess.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Four outlaws come to New Jerusalem, a town full of courteous and religious people, to rob the bank. After shooting the president of the bank, only three make it out of town followed by the ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Chester Morris, Lewis Stone, Walter Brennan
Certificate: Passed Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After socialite Lynn Llewwllen receives an anonymous threat, he is poisoned at his uncle's casino, and although he recovers, his wife is murdered by the same killer.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Paul Lukas, Alison Skipworth, Donald Cook
Midnight Mary (1933)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An abused orphan sinks into a life of crime.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, Ricardo Cortez
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Shady stockbroker and abusive husband Gerald Parker is found dead in the penguin pool of a NYC aquarium after being knocked cold by his wife's boyfriend.

Director: George Archainbaud
Stars: Edna May Oliver, Robert Armstrong, James Gleason
Piccadilly (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young Chinese woman, working in the kitchen at a London dance club, is given the chance to become the club's main act which soon leads to a plot of betrayal, forbidden love and murder.

Director: Ewald André Dupont
Stars: Gilda Gray, Anna May Wong, Jameson Thomas
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, Alan Hale


Complete credited cast:
Ruth Roman ... Shelley Carnes
Richard Todd ... Richard Trevelyan
Mercedes McCambridge ... Liza McStringer
Zachary Scott ... Harvey Fortescue Turner
Frank Conroy ... J.D. Nolan
Kathryn Givney ... Myra Nolan
Rhys Williams ... Father Paul
Darryl Hickman ... String
Nacho Galindo ... Pedro


Actress Shelley Carnes (Ruth Roman), is looking forward to an exciting vacation at a dude ranch, but she gets more than she bargained for, including a perhaps murderous new husband. Only by sheer luck has Richard Trevelyan (Richard Todd), her new husband, escaped execution for murdering his first wife Loraine. In a second trial, a single juror held out, causing him to be released. A local priest, Father Paul (Rhys Williams), and other eyewitnesses paint a deadly picture to the future bride but the actual murder was not witnessed and somehow, unbelievably, love wins out. Because of local expectation, Shelley ends up at a competing dude ranch run by J.D. (Frank Conroy) and Myra Nolan (Kathryn Givney). The picture of Richard over their fireplace suggests a close relationship. They loan Shelley their car and direct her to go to Trevelyan's ranch. En route, she meets Trevelyan on horseback, a handsome, but damaged, and mysterious young man. Upon arrival at the ranch she finds out the dude ... Written by Edward Kimble

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


RUTH ROMAN IS ALL WOMAN IN...(original poster-all caps) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 June 1951 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Branded Woman See more »

Filming Locations:

Paso Robles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,108,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$785,000, 31 December 1951

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,144,000, 31 December 1951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the car crash scene, from inside the car the fence is on the left and it's a single rail. However in the exterior shot of the crash, the car is going the opposite direction with the fence on the car's right, and it's double-railed. Also, during the nighttime crash scene, the oncoming car is on a straight stretch of highway. But in the daytime shot of the crash scene, the site is on a blind curve through a cut in a hill. See more »


Richard Trevelyan: You can sleep in the den. There's a lock on the door.
Shelley Carnes: Do I need it?
Richard Trevelyan: I want you to feel that you're safe.
Shelley Carnes: From what?
Richard Trevelyan: From your thoughts.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Richard Todd's blazing eyes, all two of them
24 August 2011 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This is a superb King Vidor film noir, made only two years after his ultimate masterpiece, THE FOUNTAINHEAD (1949). Unless one considers the sultry RUBY GENTRY (1952) a film noir of sorts, Vidor was not really a noir director. But this film shows that when he needed to become one, he could do it in the twinkling of a lens. The female lead in this film was that very fifties woman, Ruth Roman, who appeared in film after film in those days. Seeing her now, she is so much 'then' as a type, that one cannot imagine her in a contemporary setting at all. All of her mannerisms and assumptions positively reek of the Eisenhower Era. The mesmerising performance of Richard Todd is what really makes this film work. His eyes blaze with ambivalent intensity, like two searchlights, as he stares at Ruth Roman and we and she try to guess is he a good guy or a bad guy. Whatever he is, he feels it deeply. Zachary Scott, in sinister lecherous mode, is Todd's friend, or at least Todd thinks he is. Scott keeps 'lech-ing' round Ruth Roman, can't keep his eyes off her, and that goes for his hands too. She's having none of it, because she's a straight fifties gal. The film has a strong, tormented performance from Mercedes McCambridge, in only her fifth role. She had commenced her film career in the hit ALL THE KING'S MEN (1949) only two years earlier, and five years after this she was to play perhaps her best known role of all in GIANT (1956) with James Dean. She was generally considered one of the finest actresses of her generation, which is hardly surprising, since she was originally one of Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre team, and most of them were brilliant. Mercedes was her second name, but she used it as her first, and was called 'Mercy'. In this film, Rhys Williams plays a priest named Father Paul, who is sickly and sanctimonious and likes to call grown-ups condescendingly 'my child'. (Don't over-pious, patronising priests like that make you sick, especially when they have pet Hispanics hanging around to prove how broad-minded they are?) This film is set way out West somewhere, where the desert is threatening. But so are some of the people! This murder mystery is a twister, and it wriggles like a rattler.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed