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

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Original title: Thelma Jordan."
THE FILE ON THELMA JORDAN (1950). Director: Robert Siodmak.

"Maybe I am just a dame and didn't know it. Maybe I like being picked up by a guy on a binge."

Concerned with possible burglars at her elderly aunt's estate, Thelma Jordan (Barbara Stanwyck) goes to see an assistant district attorney named Miles Scott (Paul Kelly) but winds up with another ADA, Cleve Marshall (Wendell Corey) who happens to be rather bored with his wife (Joan Tetzel) and children and their vacations and falls hard for Thelma while on a bender. The plot has various intriguing twists and turns as the two carry on a heated affair while Mrs. Marshall and the kids wait at the beach. Then, wouldn't you know it, someone gets murdered ... Stanwyck gives another fine performance in Thelma Jordan, and Corey is quite good as well; this is an actor who has hidden facets as well as versatility. Stanwyck plays one of her most unsympathetic characters but you're with her right from the start. Tetzel and Kelly are also fine, and Gertrude Hoffman is just right in her brief appearance as Thelma's aunt. No, this is no Double Indemnity, but it's absorbing and has a few tricks up its sleeve. To accept some of the more absurd plot turns takes a definite "suspension of disbelief," however. Some of Corey's best performances were in No Sad Songs for Me, The Big Knife, and his debut film Desert Fury, and he also somehow wound up in Women of the Prehistoric Planet.

Verdict: Stanwyck smoulders in grand style. ***.

No comments: