|Lovely by candlelight: Hedy Lamarr|
Jenny Hagar (Hedy Lamarr), hoping to get away from her drunken father (Dennis Hoey), marries the wealthy and much older Isaiah Poster (Gene Lockhart of Something to Sing About), although her heart belongs to his son, Ephraim (Louis Hayward). Naturally there are complications in this household, including the addition of Ephraim's fiancee, Meg (Hillary Brooke of Big Town After Dark). Will Jenny lead both father and son to their doom? And what affect will her husband's associate John Evered (George Sanders) have on Jenny when he finally makes an appearance? This well-titled movie presents a lead character who is indeed "strange," a mass of contradictions, and whose actions you can never quite predict, which keeps The Strange Woman, an odd romantic melodrama, entertaining. The acting in this is quite good all around, with a gorgeous Lamarr generally on top of things but for a few more difficult moments. Among the supporting cast Olive Blakeney [Henry Aldrich, Boy Scout] makes an impression as the housekeeper, Mrs. Hollis. The movie never seems entirely credible, but it is entertaining as you watch and wonder what Jenny might be up to next. Ulmer's direction is a little uneven at times.
Verdict: Strange movie. ***.