Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)

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“I wish so much crime didn't take place after dark. It's so unnerving.”

            I find stories with women seducing men to get them to do whatever they want kind of interesting. Men falling all over themselves for a beautiful woman boggles my mind. I am not really jealous of women who can get men to do whatever they want for them I usually just wind up feeling bad. Most of the famous Film Noirs have femme fatales who twist men around their fingers and bend them to their will. The File on Thelma Jordon is exactly that kind of story with exactly that kind of woman.
            Cleve Marshall (Wendell Corey) is the assistant District Attorney. He is in his office late one-night drinking to work up himself up to go home to his wife that he does not really love anymore. A woman named Thelma Jordon (Barbara Stanwyck) comes into his office. She needs someone to help her with her aunt. Her aunt is going crazy thinking someone is after her and trying to rob her house. Cleve asks Thelma why she does not go to the police and she says that her aunt does not like uniforms.
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            Instead of both of them going home they go out to dinner and, big surprise, they both fall in love with each other. Cleve and Thelma cannot be seen together so they sneak around. She gets Cleve to come to her at a moment’s notice.  He always picks her up along the road to her house where she lives with her aunt. When Thelma is supposed to be out the aunt wakes up when she hears someone in the house. She goes downstairs and there is someone in the house. The aunt is shot and killed. Thelma never got too far from the house and finds her aunt dead. She calls Cleve before the police come to the house. He wipes down all the evidence that Thelma was there.
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            The police eventually arrest Thelma on murder charges and Cleve does whatever he can to avoid her having to go to jail. The police know there was another person at the house but Thelma will not tell them that the other person was Cleve. Thelma beats the murder charges but her ending comes in the form of a former flame who will not leave her alone.
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            Of course Cleve cannot go unpunished and he confesses that he was the other person at the house the night the aunt was murdered.

            I wanted to like The File on Thelma Jordon because I like Richard Siodmak and Barbara Stanwyck. The direction was not terrible Siodmak is a fantastic director. I adore Barbara Stanwyck but I did not like her acting, or anyone else’s acting. I also really did not like the story too much, I do not really like it when a woman has a man wrapped around her finger and uses him to get her out of things. But I must say that maybe at another moment in time I will sit down and watch The File on Thelma Jordon again and maybe I will like it a little more. For now I will say The File on Thelma Jordon is worth watching once. 
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