No Man of Her Own

1950

Drama / Film-Noir / Romance

Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
September 07, 2022 at 11:35 AM

Top cast

Milburn Stone as Plain-Clothes-Man
Barbara Stanwyck as Helen Ferguson
Phyllis Thaxter as Patrice Harkness
John Lund as Bill Harkness
720p.BLU
895.45 MB
1280*958
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 8 / 10

Deadly deception

'No Man of Her Own' is not to be confused with the 1932 film of the same name with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. Completely different films, as completely different as they could possibly come, in premise and tone. It is adapted from terrific though admittedly melodramatic source material ('I Married a Dead Man' by Cornell Woolrich), and any film that stars the great Barbara Stanwyck always has me sold. Not every film of hers is great but she always rose above her material and was always a bright spot in her lesser work.

Mitchell Lesisen was less consistent for me, but he was a more than competent director and did some good and more films. 'No Man of Her Own' is not one of Stanwyck's very best films, but it is one of her more interesting ones and has a typically wonderful performance from her. It is one of Leisen's more interesting films too and has some of his most inspired direction. Of all the versions of 'I Married a Dead Man', of the ones seen to me 'No Man of Her Own' is the best.

Even with the story being as often outlandish and sometimes in the latter stages confusing as it is.

For my tastes too the ending jarred a bit tonally and wraps things up too neatly. The twist is quite clever though and not predictable.

Still, 'No Man of Her Own' still managed to be very well executed with three particularly good assets that will be mentioned later. The cast are all good, with Jane Cowl moving in her role and Lyle Bettger (apparently in his film debut) is chillingly caddish. John Lund was fine in my view, it is not easy for a leading man to hold their own against such a great actress and Lund does pale in comparison. He still does a good job in his conflicted and not as interesting role. The script adapts the source material thoughtfully without being too wordy, melodrama doesn't get too excessive, and despite being outlandish and muddled the story has a lot of suspense when things start to unravel. The music is haunting.

The photography is beautifully composed and its shadowy look and doom laden shots provides a lot of atmosphere. Leisen's direction is some of his most inspired, because of the suspense and his use of camera work. Stanwyck gives a fearless firing on all cylinders kind of performance that completely grips and moves in equal measure.

In summary, the story has its issues but it is still a well done film and to be seen for the direction, atmosphere and Stanwyck. 7.5/10

Reviewed by bmacv 8 / 10

Committed performance by Stanwyck redeems Cornell Woolrich weeper/noir

For fully half its running time, No Man of her Own shapes up to be the sort of woman's weeper in which Barbara Stanwyck had scored previous triumphs, like Stella Dallas or Always Goodbye. But then it flashes its noir credentials, consisting of its provenance from a William Irish (Cornell Woolrich) story, disingenuous direction by Mitchell Leisen, and an expert performance by Stanwyck. It's about Stanwyck's stealing another woman's identity and whether she can pull it off – or whether she has to.

Knocked up and jilted by her heel of a lover (Lyle Bettger), Stanwyck follows him to New York only to be icily rebuffed and handed a train ticket home. En route, she meets up with young marrieds Phyllis Thaxter and Richard Denning, headed to his home in Illinois to have their first baby. A horrible train wreck kills them both, sparing Stanwyck, the wedding ring Thaxter had given her to hold minutes before the crash, and her own newborn son; `for his sake,' she decides to pass herself off as the bereaved wife, whom Denning's parents have never met.

She's welcomed into the family with open arms, and becomes the doting daughter-in-law. Along the way, she makes a few faux pas (like signing her real name!), but they're ascribed to the trauma she underwent. Taking a particular shine to her is Denning's younger brother (John Lund), who starts squiring the young `widow' around town. But, this being one of Woolrich's grim gardens, there's a canker in the rose, in the form of Bettger, who has tracked her down. He has no interest in her, or in his son, but smells the money she has come into and blackmails her into marrying him. Stanwyck, however, hatches a scheme of her own....

The plot, of course, is nothing if not far-fetched, but succeeds on its own melodramatic terms by unstinting commitment from Leisen (who shows an unexpectedly deft hand at suspense) and Stanwyck – stars of her magnitude could redeem many a vehicle less promising than this (that's why they were stars). There's a nice contrast between the idyllic middle-class life Stanwyck has fallen into and the dark streets of the demimonde where she must rendezvous with Bettger. Special mention, though, must go to Carole Mathews, whose three brief appearances as `the blonde' (Bettger's latest squeeze) turn an ironic little subplot into something like an instrument of the Fates.

Reviewed by kidboots 8 / 10

"I Married a Dead Man"!!

Many readers of William Irish's "I Married a Dead Man" (what a more confronting title than the wishy washy "No Man of Her Own") must have experienced a case of deja vu because the plot was almost identical to a Cornel Woolrich novelette from two years before, "Call Me Patrice". William Irish was a pseudonym Woolrich used - initially when his stories were flooding the market in the early 1940s but by the early 1950s he had got into the habit of re-working old stories and passing them off as new. Publishers were not impressed but under the Irish name many were hoodwinked. "I Married a Dead Man" was a more tension filled story than "Patrice" which had first appeared in "Todays Woman".

The movie did start off in a very "film noirish" kind of way - "the summer nights are pleasant in Caulfield...the house we live in is so pleasant in Caulfield... but not for us" - then the police arrive but for whom - Helen Ferguson (Stanwyck) or Bill Harkness (John Lund)??? but then it descends into a heavy mother love story with some noirish elements thrown in for good measure.

Helen Ferguson is an unmarried soon to be mother who is given a train ticket to San Francisco by louse Stephen Morley (Lyle Bettger) when she visits him at his apartment. On the train she is befriended by a young married couple (Richard Denning and Phyllis Thaxter) who take pity on her. The wife, Patrice, is in the same condition that she is in and when, in a freak train accident, the young couple are killed, Helen awakes to find herself in hospital, receiving the best care that money can buy. Just before the accident Patrice had asked Helen to hold her ring and now everyone thinks that Helen is Patrice - and for the sake of the baby she is not going to put them wise!!

Fortunately for Helen, the family didn't know very much about Patrice so she is able to pull it off but older brother, Bill, has his doubts. By the time rat-fink Stephen re-enters the movie (with the intention to blackmail) the scene is set for a thrilling finale topped off with a tense police interview. I thought the film ended in a more believable way than the novel, with a minor character being exposed as the killer.

Barbara Stanwyck had just made "The File on Thelma Jordan" - a noirish crime movie top heavy with dark romance and this one proved similar. Phyllis Thaxter was good as the kind hearted Patrice and Jane Cowl was probably the best player as Mrs. Harkness who takes Helen at face value but is secretly battling a heart condition. Cowl had been a beautiful stage actress who, in 1917, was one of the first stars signed to Goldwyn Pictures.

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