The File on Thelma Jordon

Overview

No one is as good as Barbara Stanwyck when she's bad. Here Stanwyck plays Thelma Jordon, a woman who late one night shows up in the office of happily married Assistant DA Cleve Marshall Wendell Corey to seek help in solving the string of robberies at her wealthy aunt's estate. Before Cleve can stop himself, he and Thelma are involved in an illicit affair. But Thelma is a mysterious woman, and Cleve can't help wondering if she is hiding something. His suspicions are confirmed when Thelma confesses to him that she ...
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Overview

No one is as good as Barbara Stanwyck when she's bad. Here Stanwyck plays Thelma Jordon, a woman who late one night shows up in the office of happily married Assistant DA Cleve Marshall Wendell Corey to seek help in solving the string of robberies at her wealthy aunt's estate. Before Cleve can stop himself, he and Thelma are involved in an illicit affair. But Thelma is a mysterious woman, and Cleve can't help wondering if she is hiding something. His suspicions are confirmed when Thelma confesses to him that she is married to Tony Laredo, though she swears that she never wants to see him again. When Thelma's aunt is found murdered, Cleve's suspicions are aroused once again, but he is too love-struck to keep himself from being drawn into the complicated series of events that ultimately lead to his ruination. Siodmak directs with his usual skill and polish, but the film really belongs to Barbara Stanwyck who is magnificent as Thelma. Unlike the usual cold, passionless femme fatale of film noir, Thelma has a heart and a conscience. She comes to love Cleve, and has concern for his life and his future. However, despite her wish that her life could be different, she realizes that she belongs in Tony's world, and despite her attempts to sacrifice herself to save Cleve, he is doomed, by his love for her and by his own weaknesses. The File on Thelma Jordan is a romantic, unusual mystery, with a great performance and superior direction.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A fascinating entry in the film noir sweepstakes, The File on Thelma Jordan has all the characteristics associated with the genre: a treacherous femme fatale whose wiles draw a strong dupe into her web; a plot filled with enough twists and turns to make one's head spin; tragic flaws for the lead characters; a heavy, erotic undercurrent; moody black-and-white photography with impeccable set-ups; and an almost palpable tension running throughout. Where Jordan differs is in its seductive female lead. Thelma may be no good, but it's almost as if she's been forced into the life she leads, and unlike the usual cold-blooded noir "heroine," there's a part of her that wants to do good. She's almost a split personality, torn between a "light" side (represented by her relationship with Cleve) and a "dark" side (represented by her involvement with Laredo). Barbara Stanwyck fully understands the complexity of the character and gives one of her finest performances (no one was better at playing good girls gone wrong and making them into real people rather than types) and director Robert Siodmak turns in equally impressive work, starting the film slowly and proceeding at times in a meditative fashion that gives the scenes both hesitancy and a strange depth. He also pulls out all the stops for the set-piece sequences, making them all the more startling by contrast with the more ruminative stretches. If Jordan ultimately falls just a little shy of classic noirs like Double Indemnity, it's still an exceptional film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/28/2013
  • UPC: 887090048101
  • Original Release: 1949
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 1,438

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barbara Stanwyck Thelma Jordon
Wendell Corey Cleve Marshall
Paul Kelly Miles Scott
Joan Tetzel Pamela Marshall
Stanley Ridges Kingsley Willis
Richard Rober Tony Laredo
Minor Watson Judge Calvin Blackwell
Barry Kelley District Attorney Pierce
Laura Elliot Dolly
Basil Ruysdael Judge Hancock
Jane Novak Mrs. Blackwell
Gertrude W. Hoffman Aunt Vera Edwards
Harry Antrim Sidney
Kate Lawson Clara
Theresa Harris Esther
Byron Barr McCary
Geraldine Wall Matron
Jonathan Corey Timmy Marshall
Robin Corey Joan Marshall
Steve Roberts Jury Foreman
Gig Young McCarty
Jim Davies Bailiff
Harry Templeton Newsman
Lorna Jordan Woman
Garry Owen Bailiff
Clancy Cooper Chase
Ottola Nesmith Mrs. Asher
Stan Johnson Young Melvin Pierce
Virginia Hunter Secretary to the District Attorney
Nolan Leary Court Clerk
Rodney Bell Withers
Geraldine Jordan Woman Prisoner
Lynn Whitney Woman Prisoner
Dot Farley Woman Prisoner
Lee Phelps Chauffeur
Kenneth Tobey Police Photographer
Tony Merrill Reporter
Eric Alden Reporter
Jack Roberts Reporter
Jerry James Reporter
Bill Meader Reporter
Nick Cravat Reporter
Lew Harvey Court Reporter
Gertrude Astor Juror
John Cortay Deputy Sheriff
William Hamel Newsman
Sam McDaniel Porter
Ezelle Poule Woman
Mary Gordon Charwoman
Eddie Parks Proprietor
Technical Credits
Robert Siodmak Director
George Barnes Cinematographer
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Francisco Day Asst. Director
Hans Dreier Art Director
Bob Ewing Makeup
Ketti Frings Screenwriter
Bertram Granger Set Decoration/Design
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Earl Hedrick Art Director
Gordon Jennigns Special Effects
Harry Lindgren Sound/Sound Designer
Warren Low Editor
Walter Oberst Sound/Sound Designer
Joe Stinton Makeup
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Wally Westmore Makeup
Victor Young Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The File on Thelma Jordan
1. Chapter 1 [:00]
2. Chapter 2 [11:49]
3. Chapter 3 [9:57]
4. Chapter 4 [11:59]
5. Chapter 5 [13:57]
6. Chapter 6 [11:37]
7. Chapter 7 [12:52]
8. Chapter 8 [13:21]
9. Chapter 9 [14:49]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The File on Thelma Jordan
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