Friday, September 25, 2020

My Name Is Julia Ross

The titular character (Nina Foch) of Joseph H. Lewis' My Name Is Julia Ross starts the film searching for a job in London. She finds a plumb offering from an agency's newspaper ad and she's accepted on the spot. The next thing she knows, two days have passed and she's on a seaside estate in Cornwall...and she's being addressed as Marion Hughes.

Almost instantly My Name Is Julia Ross grabs the viewer by the throat and doesn't let go for its 64-minute runtime. Why is Julia being subjected to this kind of psychological warfare? Who are the people that so eagerly hired her? And what do they have planned for her?

Often lost in the shadow of Lewis' more famous title Gun Crazy, My Name Is Julia Ross established his role in the noir genre. He grasped the darkness lurking within humanity with both hands, showing how one can wear a mask for the world. But sometimes it doesn't take much for that mask to slip.

Mostly a forgotten name nowadays (most would recognize her as Gene Kelly's sponsor in An American in Paris), Foch shines in My Name Is Julia Ross. She captures the character's determination in finding out the truth as to why she's in this mental prison. And as soon as she's introduced, you're immediately rooting for her.

My Name Is Julia Ross is one of those titles that stays in your mind long after it's over. In its short duration, you get well-fleshed characters, a gripping plot, and one hell of a finale. This is one of those noir titles that is an imperative one to seek out.

My Rating: *****

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