My Name is Julia Ross (1945)

My Name is Julia Ross (1945)

“You know perfectly well I’m Julia Ross!”

A woman (Nina Foch) believes she is being hired as a live-in secretary for an elderly woman (Dame May Whitty) and her grown son (George Macready); in actuality, the pair plan to pass her off as Macready’s murdered wife, and then kill her in an “accident”.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • George Macready Films
  • Kidnapping
  • Joseph H. Lewis Films
  • “No One Believes Me!”
  • Plot to Murder

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “riveting melodrama” by director Joseph H. Lewis — a 65-minute movie that moves along at a clip, keeps you on the edge of your seat, and has a satisfying conclusion — is an “exceptional ‘B’ suspense thriller”, exactly the type of story Hitchcock would have enjoyed filming given its extreme suspense and paranoia-driven plot. Peary points out that it “bears [a] slight resemblance to So Long at the Fair, only here the woman has to prove her own existence rather than the existence of a brother.” He also notes that you “feel more frightened for Foch than for Ingrid Bergman in Notorious when she’s trapped in the house with Claude Rains and his evil mother”, and posits that while Macready played many chilling villains,” “none is scarier than the character he plays here.” Remade by Arthur Penn in 1987 as Dead of Winter with Mary Steenburgen, but this version remains much better in every way.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • Many suspenseful scenes

Must See?
Yes; definitely check this one out.


  • Good Show


One thought on “My Name is Julia Ross (1945)

  1. Very much a must!

    Early on – when she is applying for the position of ‘secretary’ and a little too emphatically lets her unattached state be known to someone we already suspect intends her harm – Foch suggests that she could be dim enough to get what she deserves. But she soon shows her mettle and acquits herself splendidly.

    From there, it’s one tense situation after another. There’s even a smidgen of comedy thrown in.

    Particularly satisfying are the little set-ups along the way, esp. the ones that remind us that, no matter how grim things look (and at times they’re pretty grim), all will be well.

    How ‘lovely’ to see Whitty being used against-type in a sinister fashion. But I don’t mean to single her out; the entire cast is perfect.

    This is a film one could easily go back to from time to time. Director Lewis’ work here is masterful; right up there with some of his other great ones (‘Gun Crazy’, ‘The Big Combo’, etc.).

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