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Thelma Jordon's file

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On YouTube someone recently uploaded THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON. It's a great looking print, and I hadn't seen the film since TCM broadcast it several years ago. It's better than I remembered. It's almost like a do-over of THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS, where we have Stanwyck involved in the death of an older aunt, and the resulting fall-out. 

 

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I kind of wonder how this picture would have been if Fred MacMurray had played Wendell Corey's part. Think about DOUBLE INDEMNITY or REMEMBER THE NIGHT where he had previously prosecuted Stanwyck. But Corey is fine.

 

I really like the subplot-- Corey's wife (Joan Tetzel) has a father who hired a detective; and she asks probing questions about her husband's mistress, but she never comes out and just asks who it is. Also, we have the mystery of "Mr. X" (meaning Corey) which allows Thelma to evade justice and be found not guilty. 

 

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My favorite sequence is the part where the verdict comes in and we see her being marched over from the women's holding area across the street, past the reporters, up the courthouse steps and back into the courtroom. Siodmak's direction is strong, and this brief semi-documentary feel he tries works very well. 

 

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One can only imagine how many other crimes she committed that would be detailed in her file. They could have added flashbacks, where we see her and her partner Tony pulling the earlier scams. Plus I would like to have known what brought her to live with her aunt, and why the aunt never suspected her of having ulterior motives. Not to mention how she persuaded the aunt to change the will, or if Thelma was telling the truth and didn't know about the will, why the aunt on her own made Thelma the sole beneficiary. There must have been some good in her.

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Great post! 'File On Thelma Jordan' is hands down my favorite Stanwyck noir. Never tire of it! Both 'FOTJ' & 'No Man Of Her Own' were AMC mainstays in the early 1990's. It's been a few years and I may have to to watch it again soon. 

 

Although 'FOTJ' is my personal fav (and a superior film to both 'Strange Love Of Martha Ivers' & No Man Of Her Own' IMO) 'No Man Of Her Own' will forever hold a special place in my heart. That was the movie that captured the imagination of a young 11 year old & started me on what's become a lifetime love affair with Classic Film. Even though I had seen a handful of classic movies beforehand ('The Wizard Of Oz', 'Gaslight', 'Anne Of Green Gables', etc), 'No Man Of Her Own' was the movie that got me hooked. 25 years later the love affair is still going strong.

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Great post! 'File On Thelma Jordan' is hands down my favorite Stanwyck noir. Never tire of it! Both 'FOTJ' & 'No Man Of Her Own' were AMC mainstays in the early 1990's. It's been a few years and I may have to to watch it again soon. 

 

Although 'FOTJ' is my personal fav (and a superior film to both 'Strange Love Of Martha Ivers' & No Man Of Her Own' IMO) 'No Man Of Her Own' will forever hold a special place in my heart. That was the movie that captured the imagination of a young 11 year old & started me on what's become a lifetime love affair with Classic Film. Even though I had seen a handful of classic movies beforehand ('The Wizard Of Oz', 'Gaslight', 'Anne Of Green Gables', etc), 'No Man Of Her Own' was the movie that got me hooked. 25 years later the love affair is still going strong.

 

Thanks Rodmann2. It's nice to see how a film has personal meaning for a viewer. I think Stanwyck made her best films at Paramount, but since those titles are not in the Turner Library they seldom air on TCM.

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