My Name Is Julia Ross

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My Name is Julia Ross
JuliaRossLobby.jpg
Theatrical release lobby card
Directed byJoseph H. Lewis
Produced byWallace MacDonald
Screenplay byMuriel Roy Bolton
Based onThe Woman in Red by
Anthony Gilbert
StarringNina Foch
Dame May Whitty
CinematographyBurnett Guffey
Editing byHenry Batista
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date(s)November 8, 1945
(United States)
Running time65 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
 
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My Name is Julia Ross
JuliaRossLobby.jpg
Theatrical release lobby card
Directed byJoseph H. Lewis
Produced byWallace MacDonald
Screenplay byMuriel Roy Bolton
Based onThe Woman in Red by
Anthony Gilbert
StarringNina Foch
Dame May Whitty
CinematographyBurnett Guffey
Editing byHenry Batista
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date(s)November 8, 1945
(United States)
Running time65 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

My Name is Julia Ross (1945) is a film noir, having also some elements of Gothic fiction, directed by Joseph H. Lewis, based on the novel The Woman in Red by Anthony Gilbert. This drama is the first in a series of film noirs directed by Lewis and features Nina Foch, Dame May Whitty, George Macready.[1]

Contents

Plot [edit]

In London, Julia Ross (Foch) goes to a new employment agency, desperate for work. When Mrs. Sparkes (Anita Sharp-Bolster) learns that she has no near relations, she recommends Julia for a job as a live-in personal secretary to a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes (Dame May Whitty). Mrs. Hughes approves and insists that she move that very night into her house. Two days later, Julia awakens a prisoner at an isolated seaside estate in Cornwall.

All her possessions have disappeared and the young woman is told she is really Marion, the wife of Ralph Hughes (George Macready), Mrs. Hughes' son. The staff have been told that she has suffered a nervous breakdown; as a result, they ignore her seemingly wild claims and her attempts to escape are all foiled.

Julia writes a letter to her only close friend and admirer, Dennis Bruce (Roland Varno), and cleverly leaves it where it can be found. The Hughes substitute a blank sheet of paper and allow her to post it, unaware that Julia has anticipated them and written a second letter. Even so, when a "doctor" comes in response to a fake poisoning attempt, she blurts out her plan to him, only to discover that he (along with Mrs. Sparkes) is in on the scheme. He is dispatched to London to intercept the letter. When the real doctor shows up, Julia refuses to see him. The doctor recommends she be taken to a hospital immediately, but Mrs. Hughes persuades him to come back in the morning.

That night, Julia discovers a secret passage to her room and overhears Ralph admit to his mother that he murdered his real wife in a fit of rage and disposed of her body in the sea. Julia's captors have to make it appear that she has committed suicide before the doctor can take her away.

Julia throws her gown out the window, making it look like she threw herself to her death, then hides in the secret passage. When the doctor drives up, Mrs. Hughes delays him so that her son can get to the body first. Ralph picks up a rock to ensure that Julia is really dead, but is stopped by Dennis and a policeman, alerted by the letter. When Ralph tries to flee, he is shot down.

Cast [edit]

Critical reception [edit]

The staff at Variety magazine praised the production, writing, "Mystery melodrama with a psychological twist runs only 64 minutes but it's fast and packed with tense action throughout. Acting and production (though apparently modestly budgeted) are excellent."[2]

Channel 4's film review lauded the work of the director, and wrote, "Think of this as the 1945 equivalent of the modern-day US indie hit. This ultra low-budget B-movie thriller set new standards in small-scale film-making and so impressed makers Columbia Pictures that Lewis's shooting schedule was almost doubled."[3]

Adaptation [edit]

The film was remade as Dead of Winter (1987), directed by Arthur Penn.[4]

See also [edit]

References [edit]

  1. ^ My Name Is Julia Ross at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Variety. Film review, November 8, 1945. Last accessed: January 19, 2008.
  3. ^ Channel Four. Film review, 2008. Last accessed: January 19, 2008.
  4. ^ Dead of Winter at the Internet Movie Database.

External links [edit]