The File on Thelma Jordon
|The File on Thelma Jordon|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Siodmak|
|Produced by||Hal B. Wallis|
|Screenplay by||Ketti Frings|
|Story by||Marty Holland|
|Music by||Victor Young|
|Edited by||Warren Low|
Hal Wallis Productions
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Thelma Jordon shows up late one night in the office of married assistant district attorney Cleve Marshall with a story about prowlers and burglars. Before Cleve can stop himself, he and Thelma are involved in a love affair. But Thelma is a mysterious woman, and Cleve can't help wondering if she is hiding something.
When her rich Aunt Vera is found shot, Jordon calls not the police but Marshall, who helps her cover up evidence that may incriminate her. When she emerges as the prime suspect, Marshall sabotages the prosecution. Thelma Jordon is acquitted. Her past, however, has begun to catch up with her.
Jordon acknowledges that there is a relationship with Tony Laredo, who conceived the scheme for her to commit murder and inherit Vera's jewels and money. Having a guilty conscience, Jordon causes a car accident that results in her accomplice's death. As she lay dying herself, Jordon confesses the truth to the district attorney. She does not incriminate Marshall, who nevertheless tenders his resignation.
- Barbara Stanwyck as Thelma Jordon
- Wendell Corey as Cleve Marshall
- Paul Kelly as Miles Scott
- Joan Tetzel as Pamela Marshall
- Stanley Ridges as Kingsley Willis
- Richard Rober as Tony Laredo
- Gertrude W. Hoffmann as Aunt Vera Edwards
When the film was released, the staff at Variety magazine praised the film, and wrote, "Thelma Jordon unfolds as an interesting, femme-slanted melodrama, told with a lot of restrained excitement. Scripting [from a story by Marty Holland] is very forthright, up to the contrived conclusion, and even that is carried off successfully because of the sympathy developed for the misguided and misused character played by Wendell Corey ... Robert Siodmak's direction pinpoints many scenes of extreme tension."
Time Out film guide notes, "A fine film noir which works an ingenious, intricate variation on the situation in Double Indemnity, but which takes its tone, unlike Wilder's film, not from Stanwyck's glittering siren who courts her own comeuppance ("Judgement day, Jordon!"), but from the nondescript assistant DA she drives to the brink of destruction."
The New York Times, in a 1950 review, gave a mixed review and noted "Thelma Jordon is, for all of its production polish, adult dialogue and intelligent acting, a strangely halting and sometimes confusing work."
- The File on Thelma Jordon at the Internet Movie Database
- The File on Thelma Jordon at AllMovie
- The File on Thelma Jordon at the TCM Movie Database
- The File on Thelma Jordon is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- on YouTube