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My Name is Julia Ross

USA 1945
produced by
Wallace MacDonald for Columbia
directed by Joseph H. Lewis
starring Nina Foch, May Whitty, George Macready, Roland Varno, Anita Sharp-Bolster, Doris Lloyd, Queenie Leonard, Leonard Mudie, Evan Thomas, Joy Harington, Olaf Hytten, Harry Hays Morgan, Ottola Nesmith, Charles McNaughton, Reginald Sheffield, Marilyn Johnson, Leyland Hodgson, Milton Owen
screenplay by Muriel Roy Bolton, based on the novel The Woman in Red by Anthony Gilbert, musical director: Mischa Bakaleinikoff

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Julia Ross (Nina Foch) has just learned her neighbour Dennis (Roland Varno) whom she was almost romantically involved with got married, and with her needing a job anyways, she jumps at the first opportunity to work as a secretary for Ralph Hughes (George Macready) and his mother (May Whitty) - especially since she can also live there and thus doesn't have to run across Dennis anymore. Thing is, when she's just about to leave her old home for good she runs across Dennis, who didn't get hitched after all and who suggests to rekindle their flame - and she promises to go on a date with him the next night. But after going to bed at the Hughes' place in London, whe wakes up two days later at a mansion in Cornwall, in one of the master bedrooms, and soon she runs across Ralph and his mother, who both insist she's actually Ralph's wife Margret, who suffers from some sort of mental condition and has had this sort of memory distortion before. Their servants all confirm what they say, but of course she knows she's being played, she just has not the slightest idea as to why Ralph and mum are orchestrating this charade. Fact is though, she's pretty much cut off from the outer world as the premises are fenced, and whatever she tries to get out seems to explode in her own face and helps Ralph and mum to convince staff and locals that she really suffers from the condition they say she does. Then she secretly overhears a conversation of Ralph and his mum that reveals everything, she's to be a stand-in for Ralph's actual wife he murdered a few years ago, but can't get on her inheritance since he had to hide the body as it would reveal him as the killer. So they need somebody to take her place - Julia, who is to be driven into a mock suicide ... a few days from now. Julia makes some desparate attempts to save her life, including somehow sending off a letter to Dennis (that's intercepted though) and faking her suicide, but Ralph and mum aren't stupid and apparently prepared for everything, so time's slowly but surely running out for Julia ...

 

A by today slightly forgotten crime drama that might not break too much new ground storywise, but its slow but sure build-up of tension and suspense is up with the best of them, as is its directorial effort that's heavy on atmosphere, as is its sharp dialogue that hardly wastes a word, its well fleshed out characters, and of course a first rate cast. Definitely worth a look, and not just for those into a trip down memory lane, as this movie proves the timeless power of expert filmmaking!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD