Remade as Dead of Winter in 1987, but this original has all the atmosphere, take a Noir detour down Mystery Lane, into Horror, enjoy…
Despite its relatively low budget, this film noir exudes atmosphere, thanks in part to a great story, beautiful cinematography, and the photogenic Nina Foch. Over time it has become quite a classic, presented here in a sharp HD print.
My Name Is Julia Ross is a 1945 American gothic film noir directed by Joseph H. Lewis, and starring Nina Foch, Dame May Whitty, and George Macready. The screenplay is based on the 1941 novel The Woman in Red by Anthony Gilbert. The film received a loose remake called Dead of Winter (1987), starring Mary Steenburgen.
Stars: Nina Foch, May Whitty, George Macready, Roland Varno
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Writers: Muriel Roy Bolton, Anthony Gilbert
My Name Is Julia Ross premiered in New York City on November 9, 1945. Its release expanded in the United States on November 27, 1945.
Film critic Bosley Crowther wrote a mixed review: “The director and scenarist of the Ambassador’s new mystery, My Name Is Julia Ross, deserve a B-plus for effort at least. It is quite evident that they strived earnestly to whip up excitement and suspense, but somehow that electrifying quality which distinguishes good melodrama is lacking in this transcription of the Anthony Gilbert novel, The Woman in Red … While Joseph Lewis, the director, succeeds in creating an effectively ominous atmosphere, he has not been as adept in handling the players, and that, we suspect, is why My Name Is Julia Ross misses the mark.
The staff at Variety magazine praised the production, writing “Mystery melodrama with a psychological twist runs only 64 minutes but it’s fast and packed with tense action throughout. Acting and production (though apparently modestly budgeted) are excellent.”
Turner Classic Movies released My Name Is Julia Ross on DVD in conjunction with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and The Film Foundation as part of the five-film set, “Columbia Film Noir Classics III”, alongside the films The Mob, Drive a Crooked Road, Tight Spot, and The Burglar.
On February 19, 2019, Arrow Films issued the film on Blu-ray in both region A & B editions as part of their Arrow Academy series.
The film was loosely remade as Dead of Winter (1987), directed by Arthur Penn. This film was remade in 1964 by Egyptian actress Fatin Hamama as The Last Night.
IMDB Review by samhill5215 Oct 23, 2008
Having watched this film strictly on the strength of reviewers’ ratings I was most pleasantly surprised. Although clearly low-budget, it bears the signs of clever ingenuity. For example, when Julia wakes in the strange house and looks out the window I found myself thinking that her sense of isolation would be enhanced with an exterior shot focused on her face and then moving backwards to include the house and its isolated location. And lo and behold! the next scene was exactly that last shot of the house standing lonely on the cliff at the water’s edge. There are other examples of how a clever director can elevate his film to the level of a very enjoyable thriller. Savvy viewers will surely spot them but should rest assured they will not be disappointed.
As to the performances, George Macready is his usual creepy self, barely maintaining his composure while suggesting a capacity for unadulterated violence. Nina Foch was surprisingly good as the no-nonsense working girl who’s not about to submit without a fight. But Dame May Witty, oh boy, she even had me doubting my own eyes and believing she could get away with her evil schemes.
This a real diamond in the rough and not to be missed.
I added original subtitles for all the languages I could find, in this case, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Portuguese (Brazilian), and Romanian, YouTube should automatically translate those into other languages quite well.
0:00:00 REEL ONE
0:20:00 REEL TWO
0:40:00 REEL THREE
Nina Foch as Julia Ross
Dame May Whitty as Mrs. Hughes
George Macready as Ralph Hughes
Roland Varno as Dennis Bruce
Anita Sharp-Bolster as Sparkes
Doris Lloyd as Mrs. Mackie
Joy Harington as Bertha
Queenie Leonard as Alice
Olaf Hytten as The Reverend Lewis
Leonard Mudie as Peters
Harry Hays Morgan Jr. as Robinson
Ottola Nesmith as Mrs. Robinson
Reginald Sheffield as McQuarrie
Evan Thomas as Dr. Keller
Leyland Hodgson as Policeman
Milton Owen as Policeman
Charles McNaughton as Gatekeeper
Marilyn Johnson as Nurse
Screenplay by Muriel Roy Bolton
Based on The Woman in Red, a 1941 novel by Anthony Gilbert
Produced by Wallace MacDonald
Cinematography Burnett Guffey
Edited by Henry Batista
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Production & Distribution Columbia Pictures
Release date November 9, 1945
Running time 64 minutes
Country United States
Thanks to IMDB & Wikipedia for much of this information.