Blending film noir with Gothic melodrama, director Joseph H. Lewis (known to noir lovers for The Big Combo and Gun Crazy) paints a lavish portrait of a woman victimized by a murderous man and his overprotective mother.
Our heroine is Dutch-born actress Nina Foch as Julia Ross (An American in Paris, The Ten Commandments), a young working gal who gets caught up in a psychodrama that shares much with Cukor’s Gaslight (1944), and maybe a dash of Rebecca (Hitchcock, 1940).
Our villain is George Macready as Ralph Hughes (memorable to #BNoirDetour fans as Ballin in 1946’s Gilda). This is definitely Foch’s film, but you won’t want to miss Hughes’ sociopathic temper tantrum when he stabs a pillow with a letter opener!
Adding flair to the cast is Dame May Whitty as determined Mother Hughes. No one is going to take her knife-obsessed son away on Mrs. H’s watch!
Whether you read the film as cheesy thriller, feminist critique of marriage, or a commentary on censorship,* My Name is Julia Ross is a darkly delightful ride!
Then, because the film is only 65 minutes long, we’ll keep the theme and follow up with two 26-minute episodes of One Step Beyond, both tales of women whose sanity is questioned: “Night of April 14th” (1.2, 1959) and “The Burning Girl” (1.16, 1959).
Here’s the YouTube List with all we’ll watch on Sunday at 9pm at #BNoirDetour: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHLMAFgpSdqi51Y6U8Aopewf_Cxx3-h59
* Enjoyable blog post from 2013: “Three Takes” My Name Is Julia Ross