The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)

100 mins | Film noir | January 1950

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writer:

Ketti Frings

Producer:

Hal B. Wallis

Cinematographer:

George Barnes

Editor:

Warren Low

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Earl Hedrick

Production Company:

Wallis-Hazen, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Thelma Jordon , and the film was initially reviewed under that title. According to HR news items, the scene in the women's prison was shot on location in the Los Angeles County jail, and the courthouse scene was shot at the courthouse in Santa Ana, ... More Less

The working title of this film was Thelma Jordon , and the film was initially reviewed under that title. According to HR news items, the scene in the women's prison was shot on location in the Los Angeles County jail, and the courthouse scene was shot at the courthouse in Santa Ana, CA. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Nov 1949.
---
Daily Variety
31 Oct 49
p. 3, 11
Film Daily
21 Oct 49
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 49
p. 4, 10
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 49
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 49
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Oct 49
p. 3, 13
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Nov 49
p. 74.
New York Times
19 Jan 50
p. 35.
Variety
2 Nov 49
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Hal Wallis' Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Ed supv
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Tech adv
Scr supv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Thelma Jordon
Release Date:
January 1950
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 18 January 1950
Production Date:
14 February--29 March 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Wallis-Hazen, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 August 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2455
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
100
Length(in feet):
8,998
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13725
SYNOPSIS

Assistant district attorney Cleve Marshall goes on a drunken binge and misses celebrating his anniversary with his wife Pamela. Left alone in chief investigator Miles Scott's office, Cleve drunkenly pursues Thelma Jordon, an alluring and confident woman, who is reporting an attempted burglary at her elderly aunt Vera's house. Thelma agrees to join Cleve for a drink after he offers to fix a parking ticket for her. He stays with her until late that night, when she throws him out of her car for proclaiming his love. The next day, Cleve proffers an apology and meets Thelma for dinner, as Pamela and their children have taken up their usual summer residency at the beach. Cleve is drawn to Thelma, who confesses she is lonely, and agrees to see her again. Unknown to Cleve, Thelma is also seeing a shadowy character named Tony Laredo, but once she has started dating Cleve regularly, she lies that she is in a loveless marriage with Tony. One night, Vera is shot and killed while investigating a noise in her house, and Thelma is delayed in picking up Cleve for a weekend holiday. Cleve, who uses a pseudonym, calls the house shortly after Vera is shot, and Vera's butler listens on the extension as Thelma urges Cleve to come immediately. After Cleve arrives, Thelma admits that she tried to cover up the murder, because she once wrote to Tony about Vera's expensive emerald necklace and fears he may have killed her. Cleve insists that Thelma restore her fingerprints to the room, and ducks out just as the butler enters. Cleve retreats to the beach house with Pamela, who forces him to admit that ... +


Assistant district attorney Cleve Marshall goes on a drunken binge and misses celebrating his anniversary with his wife Pamela. Left alone in chief investigator Miles Scott's office, Cleve drunkenly pursues Thelma Jordon, an alluring and confident woman, who is reporting an attempted burglary at her elderly aunt Vera's house. Thelma agrees to join Cleve for a drink after he offers to fix a parking ticket for her. He stays with her until late that night, when she throws him out of her car for proclaiming his love. The next day, Cleve proffers an apology and meets Thelma for dinner, as Pamela and their children have taken up their usual summer residency at the beach. Cleve is drawn to Thelma, who confesses she is lonely, and agrees to see her again. Unknown to Cleve, Thelma is also seeing a shadowy character named Tony Laredo, but once she has started dating Cleve regularly, she lies that she is in a loveless marriage with Tony. One night, Vera is shot and killed while investigating a noise in her house, and Thelma is delayed in picking up Cleve for a weekend holiday. Cleve, who uses a pseudonym, calls the house shortly after Vera is shot, and Vera's butler listens on the extension as Thelma urges Cleve to come immediately. After Cleve arrives, Thelma admits that she tried to cover up the murder, because she once wrote to Tony about Vera's expensive emerald necklace and fears he may have killed her. Cleve insists that Thelma restore her fingerprints to the room, and ducks out just as the butler enters. Cleve retreats to the beach house with Pamela, who forces him to admit that he is having an affair. Cleve is called to help investigate Vera's murder, and suspicion soon falls on Thelma, who begs Cleve to prosecute the case in order to protect her. Apparently unaware of Thelma and Cleve's indiscretion, Miles is unable to identify Thelma's mysterious caller, who has been dubbed "Mr. X," and who was seen by the butler leaving the crime scene. Based on Thelma's fingerprints, the recovered jewels, and a newly rewritten will which favors Thelma, a grand jury indicts her for Vera's murder. Cleve anonymously hires lawyer Kingsley Willis to defend Thelma, and cleverly arranges for the disqualification of the district attorney, so that he will be made prosecuting attorney. During the trial, Cleve purposely antagonizes the jury in order to lose the case. Although the trial exposes Thelma's sordid past--the gambling, blackmail and illicit relationship with Tony--it fails to sway Cleve's love. Willis makes a convincing case for Thelma's innocence, and "Mr. X" is never identified as Cleve. After the trial, Thelma immediately packs to leave with Tony, who planned the robbery and now intends to live off Thelma's inheritance. Cleve pays Thelma a final visit, during which Tony forces her to admit that they set Cleve up, and that she murdered Vera. Tony knocks Cleve out and leaves with Thelma, but when Thelma attacks Tony with a hot cigarette lighter, their car crashes through a barrier over a cliff. As Thelma lies dying in the hospital, she admits the full truth to Miles, but still refuses to identify "Mr. X." Thelma dies, and Miles realizes that Cleve is "Mr. X." Having already given his resignation to the district attorney, Cleve bids Miles farewell, asking him to tell Pamela that he will see her later. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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