Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS


MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (1945). Director: Joseph H. Lewis.

Julia Ross (Nina Foch), who is three weeks behind on her rent, takes a job as a secretary to old Mrs. Hughes (Dame May Whitty) and her son Ralph (George Macready) at a house in London, then wakes up in a manor by the sea in Cornwall and is told that her name is Marian and she is supposedly married to Ralph! Maddeningly, everyone in the household and indeed the town either goes along with -- or actually believes -- the deception. The more Julia protests, the more people think she's crazy. While the plot may not stand up to too close scrutiny, this is a well-made and well-acted suspenser. Whitty gives a fine portrait of understated evil. Joy Harington is vivid in the role of Bertha, the bitter maid in the boarding house where Julia owes rent. Roland Varno makes an acceptable romantic lead, although he has little to do in the film. Very well photographed by Burnett Guffey. Remade as Dead of Winter.

Verdict: Nifty B thriller with a very satisfying conclusion and a sheen that belies its budget. ***.

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