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2 hours ago, midwestan said:

 

I don't think "They Won't Believe Me" is any more convoluted and confusing than something like "The Big Sleep", which usually rates as a favorite film noir offering by posters on this site.  As for the court official shooting Young and killing him at the end...it's a classic case of 'suicide by cop', a phenomenon that's been prevalent in society for the past 15 or so years. 

 

Yes, but The Big Sleep is something that I'm afraid They Won't Believe Me is not:  it's entertaining.  In fact, I 've considered making the argument that The Big Sleep is kind of a comedy,  a noir comedy.  I don't care that the plot is impossible to figure out, it doesn't matter, because the rewards of the film more than compensate for its indecipherable story.  All the characters, even the minor side characters,  are interesting or funny or otherwise entertaining.  So I forgive the incomprehensibility of the plot because I enjoy the movie anyway.

But such is not the case with They Won't Believe Me;  the male lead is, as I said earlier, just kind of weak and dull.  The only two characters in the film who show a bit of strength and verve are Janice (Jane Greer)  and Verna  (Susan Hayward).  But even they don't get that much to do , really.  So, the work I have to do to figure out what's going on in They Won't Believe Me (especially the second half)  just isn't worth the effort, I'm not rewarded by being entertained by clever dialogue or interesting evil guys (Larry's not even evil, he's too ordinary for that) or fun glittering night club scenes or mysterious rain-swept streets, or any of the other things about noir that I enjoy.

As for Young's Ballentine,  he wasn't even a very enjoyable cad.  I'll take Dan Duryea or yes, Zachary Scott, or George Sanders,  just to name a few, over Larry Ballentine any day.  This may not have been so muchRobert Youn'gs fault as the way the character was written.

As for the suicide thing, I'm not really that interested in it one way or the other.  I just thought Eddie had a good point when he mentioned that the bailiff who shot Young's character doesn't even get so much as a reprimand.  

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 Jim Anderson was never going to be a first-class cad of the money grubbing variety. Stick to the

insurance biz. But he must have really fallen for Susan Hayward because when she showed up with

the $25,000 uncashed check he tore it up and they went on their merry way. I would have dumped

her on the spot. That is what lovely Rita should have done much earlier. She was either an idiot or

a masochist to keep Young around. Give this dirtbag his walking papers, honey. I didn't think the

three women were particularly well-rounded characters. They were, for the most part, fairly obvious

types. The plot was rather confusing. By the end of the flick, I had even forgotten whose murder he

was on trial for. Too many flashbacks that confused one's sense of time. And if he was away for what

seemed like a long period of time wasn't there the possibility his wife's body would have been, er,

fed upon by the wild creatures in the very rural area. leaving not much but bones? This is the kind

of movie I would like to see again just to get more plots points clear. Of course cutting about 15

minutes out of it didn't help matters any. Oh, the cop shooting Bobby as he suicided out the window?

Even back in 1947, cops had a license to kill. I think it would have been more interesting if Young had

met a rastaman in Jamaica, smoked a little herb and gone native. Bobby Dread.

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I think one of the problems with pictures like "They Won't Believe Me" is that it was too short.  Had it been closer to an hour and 45 minutes it may have answered more questions or filled in more holes in the plot points.  As for Robert Young coming off as 'dull as dishwater', to each their own.  I like actors and actresses that step out of their comfort zone to play against type.  Sometimes they can pull it off, sometimes they can't.  Although, I will grant you that if Louis B. Mayer asserted that Young had 'no sex appeal', I guess he would know, right?  Young might not have been flashy or excessively driven when carrying on his affairs and promising to leave his wife, which he never quite gets around to doing.  The guy's a dreamer and a schemer, but when the rubber met the road, he was not one to peel out! 

However, circumstance quashed his plans to run off with Verna, even without taking his wife's money.  Where he went wrong was when he tried to cover up Verna's tragic death by passing her off as his wife.  It was an interesting story though.  Young had good scenes with all 3 women in his life, particularly with Hayward, who gave him a good slap before they took a dip in the lake on their way to Reno.  I felt particularly bad for the horse that Greta loved, who had to be put down after he broke both forelegs getting down a treacherous slope to the water's edge where his mistress died.

Ironically, I Robert Young tried to commit suicide when he was either 84 or 85 years old.  He wasn't successful, but he died of natural causes a few years later at the age of 91.

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Yes, but The Big Sleep is something that I'm afraid They Won't Believe Me is not:  it's entertaining.  In fact, I 've considered making the argument that The Big Sleep is kind of a comedy,  a noir comedy.  I don't care that the plot is impossible to figure out, it doesn't matter, because the rewards of the film more than compensate for its indecipherable story.  All the characters, even the minor side characters,  are interesting or funny or otherwise entertaining.  So I forgive the incomprehensibility of the plot because I enjoy the movie anyway.

But such is not the case with They Won't Believe Me;  the male lead is, as I said earlier, just kind of weak and dull.  The only two characters in the film who show a bit of strength and verve are Janice (Jane Greer)  and Verna  (Susan Hayward).  But even they don't get that much to do , really.  So, the work I have to do to figure out what's going on in They Won't Believe Me (especially the second half)  just isn't worth the effort, I'm not rewarded by being entertained by clever dialogue or interesting evil guys (Larry's not even evil, he's too ordinary for that) or fun glittering night club scenes or mysterious rain-swept streets, or any of the other things about noir that I enjoy.

As for Young's Ballentine,  he wasn't even a very enjoyable cad.  I'll take Dan Duryea or yes, Zachary Scott, or George Sanders,  just to name a few, over Larry Ballentine any day.  This may not have been so muchRobert Youn'gs fault as the way the character was written.

As for the suicide thing, I'm not really that interested in it one way or the other.  I just thought Eddie had a good point when he mentioned that the bailiff who shot Young's character doesn't even get so much as a reprimand.  

I thought Eddie went overboard on his like of this film. I've never been a fan of Robert Young and am not really a fan of this picture. In fact, I fell asleep this morning watching it.

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5 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Wait----what??  Rita didn't do her own singing in Gilda  ? ! ! ?  What not?  Boy, am I shocked and surprised about that.  Shirley the girl could sing, so why did they have someone else do the the singing?  They could always have had Rita sing the songs first, then dub them in (but with Rita's voice) to the dance numbers.  I'm really disillusioned about this.

So,  did Rita not do her own singing in, say,  You Were Never Lovelier?  Were her singing scenes in movies always dubbed by someone else?  Say it ain't so.

I've read she was dubbed.  (forget who did it) I don't think she sang in any of her films.

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8 hours ago, TomJH said:

TCM showed the same 79 minute version of They Won't Believe Me that they've been showing for years. Most disappointing. I was hoping that Eddie Muller might have tried to pull some strings to get them to secure the longer version (which I've seen on the internet). His comments made no reference to the longer and shorter prints of the film, maybe because he was about to show the shorter one.

But they both have the same ending, of course, and it's a shocker that stays with you.

 

VERY disappointing. And disappointed in Eddie for not mentioning the fact.

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Bottom line: Robert Young was NOT "bad enough" in this film in order to make his character truly worthy of all the female adulation his character got. And because women (well okay, perhaps not all women, but MANY women) always go for the "bad boys" because they're seldom "bland" or "dull". 

Yes, after the movie finished, I TOO began wondering how much better and more believable the film might have been if only Zachary Scott had played the lead. Now, THERE'S ya a guy you could see how women who fall for the bad boy types would fall for HIM!

(...oh and btw...if I recall correctly I think Lorna a few weeks back mentioned something about him thinking there was a scene in this movie where Susan Hayward casually mentioned her own stage name in one scene of this film, a la Cary Grant mentioning the name "Archie Leach" in His Girl Friday...I think he might have been referring to the scene in which Young first goes to Hayward's apartment and she tells him her roommate's name is "Susan Hayes"...and so Lorna if you see this, I think this was probably what you remembered)

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15 hours ago, midwestan said:

I think one of the problems with pictures like "They Won't Believe Me" is that it was too short.  Had it been closer to an hour and 45 minutes it may have answered more questions or filled in more holes in the plot points.  As for Robert Young coming off as 'dull as dishwater', to each their own.  I like actors and actresses that step out of their comfort zone to play against type.  Sometimes they can pull it off, sometimes they can't.  Although, I will grant you that if Louis B. Mayer asserted that Young had 'no sex appeal', I guess he would know, right?  Young might not have been flashy or excessively driven when carrying on his affairs and promising to leave his wife, which he never quite gets around to doing.  The guy's a dreamer and a schemer, but when the rubber met the road, he was not one to peel out! 

However, circumstance quashed his plans to run off with Verna, even without taking his wife's money.  Where he went wrong was when he tried to cover up Verna's tragic death by passing her off as his wife.  It was an interesting story though.  Young had good scenes with all 3 women in his life, particularly with Hayward, who gave him a good slap before they took a dip in the lake on their way to Reno.  I felt particularly bad for the horse that Greta loved, who had to be put down after he broke both forelegs getting down a treacherous slope to the water's edge where his mistress died.

Ironically, I Robert Young tried to commit suicide when he was either 84 or 85 years old.  He wasn't successful, but he died of natural causes a few years later at the age of 91.

Yes, I remember Young's suicide attempt. I think he said it was due to his sagging career. (Ever heard of retirement?) I like this film, even with the melodramatic ending, which really threw me the first time I saw it.

SPOILER

 

 

It's too bad they couldn't go with the suicide angle. The baliff bit was far fetched.

Does anyone know if the longer  version even exists and WHY it was cut??? I wonder if some of those scenes involve Greer who disappears for long periods in the film. We don't even get to see her reaction to Young not showing up at the station in the first part of the film. I think Rita Johnson (who's billed as a supporting player) has more screen time than her

I felt Young did a good job. And as far as him not having enough sex appeal and not "bad" enough. Well, maybe. But I bought it. He had a way with women and many women look for more than just attractiveness in a partner and I felt he was attractive enough.

I put a hold on Phantom Lady at our local library. I had heard of the book, but then forgot about it. I enjoyed Eddie's "guest host".

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19 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Well,  I'm really glad Eddie's showing Where the Sidewalk Ends next week, a noir that I like, because I 've not much liked the last two, and I don't want to come across all negative and hard to please about Noir Alley.  But  (sigh),  I don't much like They Won't Believe Me.

SPOILERS coming up, so don't read if you haven't seen this movie  (but why would anyone read these posts if they haven't already seen whatever film is being discussed? )

As is often the case with me, I'd seen TWBM a couple of times before, and was hoping I'd get more out of it this time around.  Not sure I did.  Part of the problem is, I always fall asleep right at the part after     SPOILER   SPOILER     Larry meets up again with Janice  (Jane Greer) in the Caribbean,  they return to the States,  turns out SPOILER  Janice is trying to set him up for one of any number of crimes she thinks he's committed,   and on and on...the police think he's blackmailing Verna, they go to the ranch house where Larry lived with poor Greta,  they search the river, find the mourning horse, and then  SPOILER    Greta's body.   

All of the above,  I sleep through every time I watch this movie.  Although it's not a very long film -- and clearly there's a longer version which TCM doesn't show  (what's up with that, TCM?) --it seems plenty long to me, and I was glad when it was over.

I have to ask - why do these three women all go for Larry (Robert Young) in such a big way?  He's handsome enough, but only in a typical 1940s bland kind of way.  And he has nothing else going for him at all.  I mean, if we're being asked to get interested in a character who's not very admirable, constantly cheating on his wife, dishonest, mercenary, and not even very good at his job  (Susan Hayward had to cover for him, one of the most interesting scenes in the film),  he could at least be charming, funny, witty, interesting in some way.  But he's not. He's  a complete blank.  Why does his wife want to hold on to him, so desperately,  why does Janice fall for him all over again at the end, and what does Verna  (Hayward) see in him?  Hell, she's smarter and better at his broker job than he is.

I actually find Young's character contemptible;  he's lazy, dishonest, and worst of all, dull.  I don't judge him for wanting out of his marriage with his somewhat controlling (and perhaps equally dull) wife,  but I do judge him for staying in it, despite his having no feeling for Greta at all.  It doesn't even  really seem to be for her money that he stays - it's more that he's just weak.  That's it, I find him a very weak character,  weak and kind of boring.    Come on ladies  -   Jane and Susan and even the hapless Rita Johnson - you can all do better than that !

Anyway, I don't know -- the whole thing just gets so convoluted and all,  I lose patience with it.   One thing I did agree with Eddie about:  how come it's not ok for a man who believes he's going to be convicted of murder and be executed  to try and jump out the window,  but it is ok, for some court official to just shoot him dead?    (james, no need to tell me about the Code ban on depicting suicides,  yes I know...) 

Poor Verna  !  It seems like Susan Hayward played more than her share of ill-fated leads.  Maybe not, I haven't seen all of her work.

 

SPOILER

 

No, you've got it wrong. Young's boss (and later police) thought Verna was blackmailing YOUNG and that's why he killed her!

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I've always liked "They  Won't Believe Me". For one, it shows that Robert Young is not THAT good of an actor. He gets a part he could have really sunk his teeth into, and he does not disappear into the part. He absolutely comes across like Robert Young.  It's the plot that does it for me. It's rather like "Detour". Is this guy even telling the truth?  Did he kill his wife and this is his cover story? Did his wife actually commit suicide over him leaving? The note found - in Larry's story - implies that. Was it just an accident? Or did Janice, who never got over being dumped in absentia, actually kill his wife and go to the authorities feigning worry that Larry has done something desperate to set him up?  And we also don't even know if he is telling the truth about Verna being so into him. She's dead and Larry could paint her any way that he liked. 

Or maybe, it was just like the authorities said, but with a twist. It was Greta in the car who died. Maybe Janice got Verna out to the ranch on false pretenses and killed her out of jealousy and planned to set Larry up for it. So many possibilities. 

At any rate, "They Won't Believe Me" is one of the discs I ordered from the Deep Discount 15% off sale. It says that it is 95 minutes but that could be a mistake. If it is 15 minutes longer I'll tell you what is in that missing 15 minutes. 

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47 minutes ago, LsDoorMat said:

I've always liked "They  Won't Believe Me". For one, it shows that Robert Young is not THAT good of an actor. He gets a part he could have really sunk his teeth into, and he does not disappear into the part. He absolutely comes across like Robert Young.  It's the plot that does it for me. It's rather like "Detour". Is this guy even telling the truth?  Did he kill his wife and this is his cover story? Did his wife actually commit suicide over him leaving? The note found - in Larry's story - implies that. Was it just an accident? Or did Janice, who never got over being dumped in absentia, actually kill his wife and go to the authorities feigning worry that Larry has done something desperate to set him up?  And we also don't even know if he is telling the truth about Verna being so into him. She's dead and Larry could paint her any way that he liked. 

Or maybe, it was just like the authorities said, but with a twist. It was Greta in the car who died. Maybe Janice got Verna out to the ranch on false pretenses and killed her out of jealousy and planned to set Larry up for it. So many possibilities. 

At any rate, "They Won't Believe Me" is one of the discs I ordered from the Deep Discount 15% off sale. It says that it is 95 minutes but that could be a mistake. If it is 15 minutes longer I'll tell you what is in that missing 15 minutes. 

Yes, PLEASE DO TELL US! I'm very interested to know what got cut.

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

 

SPOILER

 

No, you've got it wrong. Young's boss (and later police) thought Verna was blackmailing YOUNG and that's why he killed her!

Thanks,  Hibi,  I had a feeling I might have gotten a plot detail mixed up in that final third of the film. As I said, I always seem to fall asleep by that part of They Won't Believe Me, only to wake up when they find the wounded horse and Greta's body in the river, which means obviously I've missed a fair bit of the story. And yes, it makes a lot more sense for the police to think Verna was blackmailing Larry than the other way around.  

Apropos of nothing other than the fact that we're talking about Robert Young here,  I will say again, as I've said a few times on these boards, that I always get Robert Young and Robert Montgomery mixed up.  They look alike to me, even though yes, their screen personas were quite different.  Just idle speculation, I wonder how Robert Montgomery would have been in the role?   (maybe not as well as Young, given that Robert Montgomery always seemed to be less than charming in his noir roles, always snapping and barking at people...)

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5 hours ago, Hibi said:

Does anyone know if the longer  version even exists and WHY it was cut??? I wonder if some of those scenes involve Greer who disappears for long periods in the film.
 

Yes, I saw the longer version. In the scenes cut Robert Young slaps Jane Greer around a lot and knees Susan Hayward in the stomach. Then they come running back to him screaming, "More, more . . ."

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25 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Yes, I saw the longer version. In the scenes cut Robert Young slaps Jane Greer around a lot and knees Susan Hayward in the stomach. Then they come running back to him screaming, "More, more . . ."

If that's supposed to be funny, it's not.

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3 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

If that's supposed to be funny, it's not.

Humour is subjective, MissW. I'm trying to explain Robert Young's possible "bad boy" appeal in the film with any missing scenes, especially since some posters on the thread don't "get" his attraction for the women.

I've also known a few women for whom what I said is not such an exaggeration from reality.

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While clicking around the internet I came across a brief scene from TWBM. It's the one where Hayward

is sitting in Young's car. He is surprised to see her and gets in and drives her home. She mentions that

Trenton has proposed to her and also what a cheap date he is. I don't recall that dialogue. I might

have forgotten it or it may have been part of what was excised from the original film. They probably cut

out lots of short pieces from the original and not big chunks of it. 

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51 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

While clicking around the internet I came across a brief scene from TWBM. It's the one where Hayward

is sitting in Young's car. He is surprised to see her and gets in and drives her home. She mentions that

Trenton has proposed to her and also what a cheap date he is. I don't recall that dialogue. I might

have forgotten it or it may have been part of what was excised from the original film. They probably cut

out lots of short pieces from the original and not big chunks of it. 

I don't remember that either.

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In a review I just read on imdb (the first one that comes up), it details some of the cuts from the original. One of these is the dialog between Young and Hayward in the drive to her apt. so you are correct about that. The cuts were made when the film was re-released in 1957. The original cut is on DVD and I don't understand why TCM doesnt show it. So much for uncut and commercial free!

Another review a few reviews later mentions Rita Johnson's accident a few years later, (which I didnt even know about)  that Eddie didn't mention at all. Very disappointing.

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2 hours ago, Hibi said:

In a review I just read on imdb (the first one that comes up), it details some of the cuts from the original. One of these is the dialog between Young and Hayward in the drive to her apt. so you are correct about that. The cuts were made when the film was re-released in 1957. The original cut is on DVD and I don't understand why TCM doesnt show it. So much for uncut and commercial free!

Another review a few reviews later mentions Rita Johnson's accident a few years later, (which I didnt even know about)  that Eddie didn't mention at all. Very disappointing.

It appears you still don't understand what "uncut" means.    The version TCM showed was released by the studio.    As you note THEY (the studio)  re-edited the film and re-release it.  When TCM says "uncut" they mean that they do NOT cut the film OR the film is NOT cut for content\censorship reasons (to match the over-the-air standard and the most common reason for a film to be "cut").

Thus the question here is :  Why didn't TCM lease the initial \ longer version.      That is a good  question and one I wish TCM would address.    

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Hibi said:

In a review I just read on imdb (the first one that comes up), it details some of the cuts from the original. One of these is the dialog between Young and Hayward in the drive to her apt. so you are correct about that. The cuts were made when the film was re-released in 1957. The original cut is on DVD and I don't understand why TCM doesnt show it. So much for uncut and commercial free!

Another review a few reviews later mentions Rita Johnson's accident a few years later, (which I didnt even know about)  that Eddie didn't mention at all. Very disappointing.

Well, at least my memory is working. Hayward tells Young that Trenton wants to marry her and Young

replies What's wrong with that? Nothing she says, if you like drive-ins, 35 cent movies and longgg walks

in the park. Ouch. I thinks it's a dodge to say that they ran the reissued film and not the original version,

especially as 15 minutes was cut out of a 95 minute movie. 

 

Deleted :)

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4 hours ago, Hibi said:

In a review I just read on imdb (the first one that comes up), it details some of the cuts from the original. One of these is the dialog between Young and Hayward in the drive to her apt. so you are correct about that. The cuts were made when the film was re-released in 1957. The original cut is on DVD and I don't understand why TCM doesnt show it. So much for uncut and commercial free!

Another review a few reviews later mentions Rita Johnson's accident a few years later, (which I didnt even know about)  that Eddie didn't mention at all. Very disappointing.

I believe her accident was attributed to a mishap with one of those large beauty salon hair dryers (not sure if the smaller handheld ones existed in the 40s?).  Supposedly a hair dryer fell on her and caused damage to her head and legs, culminating with brain surgery. Her accident led to her becoming an alcoholic and developing encephalitis, caused by her alcoholism. It was rumored however, that the REAL cause of her injuries was a gangster boyfriend who had beat her.  Very sad life.

When I see Rita Johnson all I think of is her constant use of the word "beguiling" in The Major and the Minor.  It's just too beguiling! 

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