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Friday, June 15, 2012

No Man Of Her Own (1950)

An unmarried and pregnant woman (Barbara Stanwyck) has been dumped by her scumbag boyfriend (Lyle Bettger). While traveling on a train with a young husband (Richard Denning) from a well to do family and his pregnant wife (Phyllis Thaxter), the train crashes killing the couple but Stanwyck is mistakenly identified as the wife and taken in by his family. Will she get away with the deception? Often incorrectly referred to as noir, probably because it's based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich (REAR WINDOW, THE BRIDE WORE BLACK), it's really just a woman in distress thriller at its core. As directed by Mitchell Leisen (HOLD BACK THE DAWN), it's a first rate effort, nicely balancing the suspense with an unobtrusive romance and with a nicely nuanced performance by Stanwyck. The normally bland John Lund (TO EACH HIS OWN) is surprisingly effective as the dead man's suspicious brother who finds himself drawn to her. Daniel L. Fapp (WEST SIDE STORY) did the evocative B&W cinematography and Hugo Friedhofer did the underscore. With Jane Cowl, Esther Dale, Carole Mathews, Kathleen Freeman and Dooley Wilson (CASABLANCA). Remade as MRS. WINTERBOURNE in 1996.

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