The Guilt of Janet Ames

Overview

In this drama, a soldier's widow, whose husband died a hero in WW II, begins a quest to find the five men whose lives were saved when her husband sacrificed his own life by taking the brunt of a hand grenade blast. Her search begins two years after the war's end, and is an attempt to see if the men were worthy of her husband's death. En route she is slightly hurt in a minor accident and becomes hysterically paralyzed and unable to walk. One of the soldiers she was looking for tries to help her overcome her ...
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Overview

In this drama, a soldier's widow, whose husband died a hero in WW II, begins a quest to find the five men whose lives were saved when her husband sacrificed his own life by taking the brunt of a hand grenade blast. Her search begins two years after the war's end, and is an attempt to see if the men were worthy of her husband's death. En route she is slightly hurt in a minor accident and becomes hysterically paralyzed and unable to walk. One of the soldiers she was looking for tries to help her overcome her hysteria by using hypnosis. While she sleeps, he allows her to "talk" to all the soldiers involved in the incident. In this way, she is able to accept her husband's death. Seeing that the hypnotist is himself filled with guilt about the death, she in turn hypnotizes him.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The Guilt of Janet Ames is a very odd movie, indeed, although perhaps not quite odd enough. If Ames took its strangeness and went further, or if its strangeness were not in the service of a resolutely "Hollywood" screenplay, it would have much more impact. What is it that makes Ames odd? Well, the most obvious answer are the dream sequences that make up the majority of the film and which, being dream sequences, are infused with varying degrees of reality, unreality and surreality. In addition, the very premise -- that a woman wants to find the five men whose lives were saved at the sacrifice of her husband's and see if they are "worthy" of such a sacrifice -- is certainly offbeat. And finally, the fact that Ames is at base a psychological fable about a woman's own guilt for not truly loving her deceased husband is also on the unusual side for the period. Unfortunately, the potential in these unique qualities is not effectively realized. The dream sequences for the most part are not as odd as they need to be. The premise is not exploited and is given only a surface treatment. And the psychology employed throughout is mostly psychobabble, filtered through a very typical Hollywood lens. It doesn't help that the dreams come about through the "hypnotic" powers of a reporter who turns out to be one of the men saved by the dead husband, nor that the wife, cured of her guilt in an instant, is able to provide similar hypnotically curative services for that reporter. Whatever Ames' failings, they're not due to the cast, especially Rosalind Russell and Melvyn Douglas, who try hard and do wonders even with some of the weaker material. Ames gets an "A" for effort, if not for execution, but one wishes it had been braver and really made an asset of its strangeness.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/16/2010
  • UPC: 043396359666
  • Original Release: 1947
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures Home
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Language: English
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 58,912

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rosalind Russell Janet Ames
Melvyn Douglas Smithfield Cobb
Sid Caesar Sammy Weaver
Betsy Blair Katie
Nina Foch Susie Pierson
Charles Cane Walker
Harry Von Zell Carter
Arthur Space Nelson
Richard Benedict Joe Burton
Frank Orth Danny
Ray Walker Sidney
Doreen McCann Emmy Merino
Hugh Beaumont Frank Merino
Edwin Cooper Surgeon
Emory Parnell Susie's Father
Steve Benton Ambulance Attendant
John Berkes Customer
William Challee Ambulance Surgeon
Doris Colleen Student Nurse
John Farrell Janitor
William Forrest Dr. Morton
Victoria Horne
Frederic Howard Doctor
Thomas E. Jackson Police Sergeant
Pat Lane
Eve March
Kathleen O'Malley Nurse
Wanda Perry
Denver Pyle Masher
George Riley Policeman
William Trenk Headwaiter
Bill Wallace Orderly
Isabel Withers Marian
Technical Credits
Henry Levin Director
George Duning Score Composer
Doris Fisher Songwriter
Devery Freeman Screenwriter
Stephen Goosson Art Director
Walter Holscher Art Director
Louella MacFarlane Screenwriter
George Montgomery Set Decoration/Design
Charles Nelson Editor
Alan Rivkin Screenwriter
Allan Roberts Songwriter
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision
Frank A. Tuttle Set Decoration/Design
Joseph Walker Cinematographer
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