Sunday Matinee: My Name Is Julia Ross

The Criterion Channel debuted this week and it’s an amazing streaming service. It’s everything that I want from a streaming service. Classic cinema, behind the scenes features and so much more. My watch list has enough to keep me busy for the next three years.

While the service is home to Criterion’s stable of cinema they also have special films available for limited time. This month’s is Columbia’s film noir collection. 11 dark and gritty film noirs to watch. I’ve watched the first on the list My Name Is Julia Ross.

Directed by Joseph H. Lewis who also made the excellent Gun Crazy, the film is set in London as young Julia Ross (Nina Foch) goes looking for a job at an agency. She tells them that she has no one, no family and no boyfriend and they recommend her for a job working for a Mrs. Hughes (May Whitty). Mrs. Hughes likes Julia and hires her but tells her that she needs to move in as her secretary. Julia agrees and leaves the boarding house that she’s staying at.

Two days later Julia wakes up in a house by the coast. She is told that she is not Julia Ross but Marion Hughes and her husband is Ralph Hughes (George Macready), son of Mrs. Hughes. Julia is told that she had a mental breakdown and none of the staff believe her claims. Something is very much amiss in the house and Poor Julia seems outmatched by Ralph and Mrs. Hughes and fights for her life as she tries to find a way to get out or get help.

Based on the novel The Woman in Red by Anthony Gilbert the film is short, just over an hour long, but it moves fast and is quite suspenseful.

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