Saturday, October 22, 2011
(NOIR) The File on Thelma Jordan - 1950 *** 1/2
I have never heard of this film, but it kept coming up as a recommendation that I must see, and as I am on a film noir kick I decided that I had to. Plus it had Barbara Stanwyck who nearly always delivers a good performance and was directed by Richard Siodmak (who directed 'Criss Cross'). And she certainly did here. One of the lovely things about old films, and seemingly film noir at the moment, is that even when you think you've seen all the good ones, there are always dozens and dozens of unexplored gems left to enjoy.
Wendell Corey stars as Cleve, a DA who crosses the path of Miss Thelma Jordan when she appears at the station wanting to make a complaint about suspected burglars at her house which she shares with her aunt. This first meeting soon turns to an affair despite the fact that Cleve is married and Thelma has a complicated past of her own.
Soon afterwards, Thelma's aunt is found murdered, Thelma is on trial for the crime. And it is up to Cleve to untangle her from the mess.
Film noir certainly, and Stanwyck is known for playing the ultimate 'Femme Fatale (although interestingly I wouldn't cite her as one in this movie, as she has a complex and layered character that is not completely ruthless). Worth a watch.